Art without ardor

Here I quote an excerpt from a long article I wish I had time to read. But I don’t. I found the excerpt on The Curator.

    But a theory of art that is grounded in the assumption that art can do without ardor is dangerous for art, and therefore for us. Art is by its very nature a form of emphasis and extremism. Artistic truth is an exaggeration, and a distortion of ordinary truth. This is something that Picasso teaches us, time and again. The artist takes experiences and apprehensions and enlarges them, extends them. Such an activity cannot be defined negatively, at least not for very long. No art worth considering can ever really be understood as post-this or post-that — as a rejection of classicism or of modernism or, for that matter, of Dadaism. Whatever its historical debts and struggles, art makes its claims in the present — as an argument for the value of immediate experience, and as a vindication of it.

I thought it was worth reiterating that art without ardor is basically impotent. Of course, how said passion manifests itself in each of our lives — artists or not — and our paintings and sculptures varies significantly. It’s the business of the artist to be earnest in their own pursuit.

The language following the first sentence of this paragraph is debatable, but not necessarily wrong in my opinion either. It can be read in different ways.

Just like every work of art, eh?


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

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