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09/06/2005

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Joseph

"Craft, or art with a lower case "a," can be beautiful, interesting, and require a great deal of skill but it is just what it is."

I find this statement perplexing, especially since much visual Art (with a capital-A in Kevin Holtsberry's distinction) in the 20th century was concerned precisely with its own self-evidence, its thingness, its being "just what it is." This was the promise of much abstraction; the conceit reached its apex with minimalism (Donald Judd, Barnett Newman, Agnes Martin, et al).

Kevin Holtsberry

I don't think we disagree that much. There is a certain amount of mystery as to how craft becomes Art. And I agree it happens with the viewer. One can't ignore one's craft in order to try and create Art. And those who try to force the issue often fail at both craft and art. But great art does, in the end, somehow rise above mere craft. I think it is about a tension between "big ideas" and skilled craft. Maybe Art is created in the sweet spot between those two. I am just an amateur philosopher trying to outline my ideas.

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