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An Aesthetic of Lack, or Notes on Camps

By Katie Kresser Culture

Paschal could not leave his beloved mother’s head bare. How could he? For he knew that nature gapes with lack. He knew that we’re meant to be hooked up to something else, as if our skulls were plugs. Or to put it another way: he knew that all of us are amputees from moment we’re born.

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Night Vision: Jacques Maritain and the Meaning of Art

By Katie Kresser Essay

THE PEOPLE WE CALL artists have always gone into a dark space. A space turned inside-out. Not a somber space, where darkness is sadness, but a mysterious one—like the nighttime darkness of the imaginative child who marches golden caravans across his bedroom ceiling. The poet Homer, archetype of artists, was famously blind—yet out from his…

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Visioning the Invisible

By Katie Kresser Book Review

Visioning the Invisible Recent Artists’ Biographies Cézanne: A Life by Alex Danchev (Pantheon, 2012) Caspar David Friedrich by Johannes Grave (Prestel, 2012) Leonardo and the Last Supper by Ross King (Walker & Company, 2012) T HE BIOGRAPHY is, in many ways, the most conservative of popular literary forms. It is philosophically retrograde. It presumes many…

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Mirrormind: Lia Chavez and the Artistic Process

By Katie Kresser Essay

Neither the action nor the actors can be anticipated…. They begin as an unknown adventure in an unknown space.          —Mark Rothko, 1947 OUR ENCOUNTER with reality is endlessly generative. Both Subject and Object, the contemplative and the contemplated, are replete with a beautiful, orderly complexity. The authentic artwork—glittering, effulgent with metaphysical…

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