One-Minute Book Reviews

July 29, 2010

The Value of Painting in an Age of Movies and Television — Quote of the Day / Robert Hughes’s ‘Lucian Freud’

Filed under: Quotes of the Day — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 10:46 pm
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What value does painting have in an age of visual media that can reach many more people? Robert Hughes responds in his Lucian Freud: Paintings (Thames & Hudson, 2003), an excellent companion to Martin Gayford’s Man With a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud, which Thames & Hudson will publish in October:

“Painting is a sublime instrument of dissatisfaction, of dissent from any kind of visual orthodoxy and received idea, not excluding those of late modernist mannerism. No work of art can ever be experienced at first hand by as many people as a network news broadcast or the commercials that grout it. That does not matter. It never has. What does count is the energy and persistence with which painting can embrace not ‘empty value’ but lived experience of the world; give that experience stable form, measure and structure; and so release it, transformed, into one mind at a time, viewer by viewer, so that it can work as (among other things) a critique of the more ‘ideological’ and generalized claims of the mass media. There is no great work of art, abstract or figurative (and especially none figurative) without an empirical core, a sense that the mind is working on raw material that exists in the world at large, in some degree beyond mere invention. Painting is, one might say, exactly what mass visual media are not: a way of specific engagement, not general seduction.”

1 Comment »

  1. feelin this quote

    Comment by jordandolmanpaints — July 29, 2010 @ 10:57 pm | Reply


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