Art's Prospect: The Challenge of Tradition in an Age of Celebrity

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Ivan R. Dee, Jan 1, 2003 - Art - 275 pages
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Observing our contemporary culture, the distinguished critic Roger Kimball sees that the avant-garde assault on tradition has long since degenerated into a sclerotic orthodoxy. He finds that the "cutting edge," as defined by the established tastemakers, turns out time and again to be a stale remainder of past impotence. And he locates a pretense that the traditional is the enemy rather than a springboard to originality. In Art's Prospect, Mr. Kimball observes that most of the really invigorating action in the art world today is a quiet affair. It takes place not at the Tate Modern in London or at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, not in the Chelsea or TriBeCa galleries but off to one side, out of the limelight. It usually involves not the latest thing but permanent things they can be new or old, but their relevance is measured not by the buzz they create but by silences they inspire. With reviews and essays composed over the last twenty years and revised for this book, Art's Prospect illuminates some of the chief spiritual itineraries of modern art. It provides, in Mr. Kimball's words, "a collage whose elements, when seen from one perspective, add up to a diagnosis of a malady, and, when seen from another perspective, offer hints of where effective remedies can be found."

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Minimalist Fantasies
The Case of the Barnes Foundation 3 4
Can Art Be Defined? 4 7

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About the author (2003)

Roger Kimball is managing editor of the New Criterion and an art critic for the London Spectator. His other books include Lives of the Mind, Experiments Against Reality, The Long March, and Tenured Radicals. He lives in South Norwalk, Connecticut.

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