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Index: Art & Architecture

Tintoretto is Venice.

Michele Casagrande: ‘Ultimately, the definitive exhibition of the late Tintoretto would turn out to be Venice itself: the Venice of the second half of the sixteenth century, where he lived, worked, and made his mark. ‘

Heard in Tintoretto.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘At San Marcuola the / table is static / as a refectory plank / on a fresco in Milan…

Tintoretto: after and before.

Hoyt Rogers: ‘The past, as our imagination transforms it in the present, already evolves into the future. This was the lesson I learned from Tintoretto in work after work—a lesson that quickened my steps and restored me to reality, that multivalent realm of ‘the seen and the unseen.’’’

Tintoretto and Venice.

Introduction: ‘This portfolio brings together essays by Michele Casagrande and Hoyt Rogers, in Italian and English. To mark the anniversary, the Civic Museums of Venice and the National Gallery in Washington have jointly organised a splendid retrospective in both cities.’

The Beginning and the End of Art

Tronn Overend: ‘There are rights and obligations, notions of justice and a facility of logic, plus the recognition of different “beliefs and intentions” in others. Denis Dutton notes there is nothing that is culturally specific about these human traits. They are as “universal as the blinking reflex”. Games, jokes, gossip; feelings of envy, pride, shame and grief are the human condition. To this list must be added the making of art.’

Tactile, untouchable.

Anthony Howell: ‘There’s a deep poetry in Mary Maclean’s work, as time will tell. We live in a world where the wood is overwhelmed by trees, but we must have faith that in the long run, true quality will be recognised and prevail.’

Underground fiction.

Michael Hampton: ‘A Ficto-Historical Theory of the London Underground is neither a fiction nor a history (though it borrows traits from both) but a courageous, if odd, hybrid. In 1776 Dr Johson remarked of the digressive novel Tristram Shandy, that “Nothing odd will do long”, underestimating its innovative features. It would be easy to make the same mistake again, ignoring the way Jobst as “amateur-scholar” has defamiliarized the experience of riding “the Tubes”. ‘

Permanently Uncanonical.

A Fortnightly Review of Heretics of Language by Barry Schwabsky Black Square Editions 2017 | 248pp | $20.00 £15.04   By NIGEL WHEALE. BARRY SCHWABSKY IS art critic for The Nation, a prestigious American weekly with a list of contributors that includes Toni Morrison, E.L. Doctorow, Noam Chomsky (and Henry James, back in the day). […]

Artaud in Ireland.

Peter O’Brien: ‘Is it possible, entre-deux-guerres, to be more insightful than to imagine and begin planning for the coming apocalypse from the western precipice of the continent? And is there a safer place in Europe during the years of World War II than a lunatic asylum? Artaud spent the entire span of that second war in various asylums. When France was occupied by the Nazis, various of Artaud’s friends ensured that he was transferred to the psychiatric hospital at Rodez, in south-central France, well inside Vichy territory.’

The new life of Whistler.

Walter Sickert: ‘If Whistler has himself left, in an interesting and passionately felt life-work, a contribution to our better understanding of the visible world, he has also done another thing. He has sent the more intelligent of the generation that succeeds him to the springs whence he drew his own art — to French soil. ‘

Looking back in anger.

Alan Wall: ‘Kitaj was obsessed all his life with Cézanne, and Cézanne certainly believed that everything needed in life and art was here, right before us, but we had to learn to see with utter integrity, and that meant ridding ourselves of false visual conventions. It is not the subject-matter of art that makes it lofty, but its method of perception. ‘

Pages from ‘Lots of Fun with Finnegans Wake’.

Peter O’Brien: ‘I have been reading Finnegans Wake on and off (mostly off) for four decades. I recently decided to annotate / illustrate / disrupt the 628 pages of text. It’s a way for me to attempt a reading of what many consider an unreadable book.’

An objective theory of Modernist aesthetics.

Tronn Overend: ‘Aquinas’s notion of clarity can be understood as the development of a theme. This sits easily with the Modernists. Explorations ‘of the thing itself’ was ‘never’ complicated by also trying to incorporate things ‘on it’. Such ornamentation would always confuse the problem of thematic development. Is there too much? Is there enough? Does it add anything to the form and the proportion that is being explored? By simplifying their project, Modernists more easily achieved clarity of purpose and a simpler development of their themes’

Of cars, carpets, and chemistry.

John McEwen: ‘The art panjandrum and collector David Sylvester called him ‘a fifties man’. For Mills, the fifties meant the ‘wonderful’ Festival of Britain and later the arrival of Expresso coffee bars. They reverse its reputation as a dreary post-war interlude.’

Artists and their Physicians: Vincent van Gogh and Doctor Paul Gachet.

Anthony Costello and Emma Storr: ‘One interpretation of the relationship between artist and doctor is that Gachet’s life-long interest in art manifested itself in the wish fulfilment to be Vincent van Gogh, so he dressed like his patient, he tried to paint like his patient and he made a second ‘fake’ copy of the eponymous painting. He also collected his patient’s paintings, painted a deathbed scene so that his painting became synonymous with the great Vincent van Gogh in death and he became custodian of a cache of Van Gogh paintings.’