Well Fancy That #13

Stuff Aug 20, 2007 No Comments

“We all know children need to be educated. But sometimes they don’t want to know more.

“They just want to stand back and marvel. Critics, alas, are expected to speak about art like adults, not like children. Once in a while, however, even a critic sees something that makes maintaining the usual front seem pointless.

“I had an experience like this in Venice in June, in a large gothic palazzo, the Palazzo Fortuny, that faces a campo a little back from the Grand Canal. It houses an exhibition that opened in the same week as the biennale and includes work by artists as famous as Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Andy Warhol and Alberto Giacometti. But it has been written about by almost no one. I don’t know why. I can only think that those journalists who saw it felt as I did: that here was something that defeated criticism, that was instead something to hold close, to lose oneself in and — evidently — to shut up about.”

Sebastian Smee, An Elegant self-sufficiency, Review, The Australian, August 18-19, 2007.

Andrew Frost

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