There are two principal objections to the kind of modern art whose claim to significance depends upon the philosophical or social theory it allegedly illustrates, embodies, or exemplifies. The first is its aesthetic nullity, and the second is its intellectual vacuity. Providing nothing grateful to the eye, such art fails to evoke serious emotion, thought, or reflection. There is no reason why artists should be philosophers, of course, but there is every reason why they should not pretend to be.

It was therefore with some surprise, and with a strange sense of relief, that on a recent trip to Colombia I found myself reacting strongly—and favorably—to a piece of conceptual art. It surprised me because I am so hostile to the genre in general; and it was a relief because I discovered that I do not yet suffer too severely from what a psychologist acquaintance of mine calls the hardening of the concepts, a condition that...

 
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