Friday, November 02, 2012
Commonplace: aesthetic experience
… THE NOTION THAT art and life are somehow separate has worn out. Dewey argued, and the Barnes demonstrates, that art focusses and intensifies life in the present, invigorating memories of the past and whetting appetites for the future. Aesthetic experience differs from other kinds only in being dramatically cogent. It may happen even in conventional museums, though against the grain of their foregone conclusions. The Pharisees of proper taste deemed Barnes weird for his fanatical orchestration of artistic stimuli. In truth, he was crazy like a prophet.
—Peter Schjeldahl on the relocated Barnes collection, in The New Yorker, May 28, 2012, p. 80.