Monday, March 1, 2010

Beauty

"When I lectured together with the critic Hilton Kramer a few years ago in Madison, Wisconsin, he proclaimed . . . that things with no relation to art were now being legitimized and accepted as art, when, he claimed, art is incapable of solving any problems except aesthetic ones. Kramer is in the forefront of those who believe that when art is actively engaged with the world, its aesthetic quality is necessarily compromised. I, on the other hand, consider that such art is often intensely aesthetic because in responding compassionately to whatever it touches, it is helping to create a more beautiful world. Artists whose work helps to heal our soulless attitudes toward the physical world have my full respect and attention because, for me, beauty is an activity rather than an entity . . . "
- Suzi Gablik, The Nature of Beauty in Contemporary Art

I think that her thoughts on the subject of art's role and power are fascinating, and not only that, they echo the feelings that I have about the power of art. For me, artists are the observers of the world. Our eyes are open to the nuances and subtleties that are often overlooked. We look and see. Our art is a record of this seeing, it is a manifestation of our observances to beauty, to the world. Our responsibility is to enlighten, to inform, to reveal and in so doing, show that beauty does abound, and that we have the power to change that which is not beautiful or uplifting. I believe that artists have this responsibility; that our power for change comes from our power to observe and our power to create in order to show others what we have learned through our eyes.

2 comments:

GrittyPretty said...

Suzi Gablik is my favorite!!! Thanks for the quote.

Linae said...

very inspiring. thanks for sharing these thoughts!

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