Log24

Monday, May 28, 2018

Epstein on Art

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 2:16 PM

Joseph Epstein in the online Weekly Standard
on May 24, 2018, at 3:03 PM —

Hilton Kramer, in a powerful essay called “Revenge of the Philistines,” praised Wolfe’s account of the sociology of the visual art of the time. On the comedy inherent in the subject, he noted, Wolfe “is illuminating and often hilarious.” Yet, when it came to the analysis of ideas, Kramer felt, “when it comes down to actual works of art and the thinking they both embody and inspire, Wolfe is hopelessly out of his depth . . . and, no doubt, beyond his true interests.” He faulted Wolfe for his inability to understand the historical context of the contemporary situation in art or how we have come to where we are in a way that carries us well beyond “the drawing-room comedy of The Painted Word .” Kramer concluded: “It is this fundamental incomprehension of the role of criticism in the life of art—this enmity to the function of theory in the creation of culture—that identifies The Painted Word , despite its knowingness and its fun, as a philistine utterance, an act of revenge against a quality of mind it cannot begin to encompass and must therefore treat as a preposterous joke.”

For Kramer in greater depth, see an online biography.

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress