Monday, August 25, 2008
I read today that art critic John Russell has died. In the NYTimes article that noted his career and his passing, they quoted several of his beliefs/approaches. Though I tend to agree a little more with Hickey in that I hope the art I hate simply disappears, never to be seen again, the three quotes that follow are really wonderful…especially the first and last, the second is just hella elegant.
“When I first began writing, my aims as a critic were simple,” he told The Art Newspaper in 1999. “I wanted to persuade people to go and see things that I myself liked.”
“I do not see my role as primarily punitive. There are artists whose work I dread to see yet again, dance-dramas that in my view have set back the American psyche several hundred years, composers whose names drive me from the concert hall, authors whose books I shall never willingly reopen. But it has never seemed to me much of an ambition to go though life snarling and spewing.”
“When art is made new, we are made new with it. We have a sense of solidarity with our own time, and of psychic energies shared and redoubled, which is just about the most satisfying thing that life has to offer.”