- Via Anti-Climacus, an NYT review of a book that wrestles with high art's often confused relationship with violence and violation. Excerpt from the review:
This is an important and frequently surprising book. By reframing the history of the avant-garde in terms of cruelty, and contesting the smugness and didacticism of artist-clinicians like the notorious Viennese Actionist Hermann Nitsch and other heirs of Sade and Artaud, Nelson is taking on modernism’s (and postmodernism’s) most cherished tenets. After all, aesthetic shock has underwritten most of our cultural innovation for over a century.This seems like a work that would fit comfortably alongside volumes of theological aesthetics.
- An article at The Curator called "Eclipsing the Object," in which the writer first diagnoses pathologies in contemporary art criticism and then attempts a healthy essay that really looks at the art. Not that I can really vouch for the diagnosis, but it's quite certainly not the usual traditionalist rhetoric. (A quick side note: Maritain makes a big deal about concepts being tools by which we grasp things themselves. Perhaps the Thomist account of intellection pushes you inexorably toward the seeing described in this article, whereas a "modern" epistomology continually retreats into conceptual frames. If so, that's one answer to my earlier questions about intellection...)