Art For The Ages–Or Not

Mortality In Its Proper Place

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I’m not above log-rolling, particularly when it furthers the cause of common sense. Maureen Mullarkey, an accomplished artist, critic and my colleague at City Arts, had this to say about art and permanence in her review of the James Grashow exhibition at Allan Stone Gallery:

“[Grashow] insists that the meaning of the work is in the doing, not the end result. ‘Process, I think, trumps everything.’ In truth, it does not. But the stylish notion that it does masks contemporary reluctance to create for the ages. Grashow sees in process an analogy to mortality. But mortality is a condition, a predicament. (Only aging is a process.) Art made in the name of process cannot aspire beyond the moment. It can parody greatness—however sweetly—without achieving it. There is something to be said for committing high talent to durable material. Or, at least, protecting fragile means. In the end, art that mimics the pathos of our transiency by inviting wreckage is redundant. Any demolition site, landfill or cemetery already does the job.”

Wish I had written that.

You can read the rest of Mullarkey’s review here.

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  • Valentine  On March 31, 2011 at 2: 54 pm

    Put another way: “I want to make of Impressionism something solid and durable like the art of the museums” (Paul Cezanne).

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