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Index: Art & Architecture

The School of Giorgione.

Walter Pater: ‘All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music. For while in all other kinds of art it is possible to distinguish the matter from the form, and the understanding can always make this distinction, yet it is the constant effort of art to obliterate it.’

The Seicento and the Cult of Images.

Yves Bonnefoy: ‘We look at these rivers, these cities in the light; at these beings, haloed by an astounding dignity. We say to ourselves: that world is, perhaps. And within us, soon the ‘passion’ flames up, which is nothing but a love that has its object in our dreams—and we feel tempted to devote a ‘cult’ to certain images, at least.’

Macanese Concrete

Peter McCarey: ‘But here’s the thing: a poem can explain itself, a concrete object can’t. Like a garden it allows the visitor to wander — without imposing an interpretation — except when the helpful glosses do just that, and in the process turn an autonomous object into the illustration of an explanation, which seems a shame.’

A Note on Inscape, Descriptionism and Logical Form.

Alan Wall: ‘They have achieved a significant form that grafts them on to one another, as though they were organically related, or at least symbiotically fused. The space between them ceases to be homogeneous, and becomes shaped instead. Homology signifies a shared origin in function and development. For example, pectoral fins, bird wings, and the forelimbs of mammals – all are homologous, whereas bird wings and insect wings are merely analogous.’

Candid Camera.

Christopher Landrum: ‘“Greater love,” says the Gospel of John, “hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” I don’t know if Chris Arnade crossed the threshold into feeling love for his subjects (though he did rescue the body of a dead back row acquaintance from the anonymity of a pauper’s grave). But no reader of ‘Dignity’ can deny that its author did lay down his career and dared to listen to back row individuals and let them speak for themselves.’

Meandering through la Belle-Époque.

Anthony Howell: ‘The impression must include everything, like a poem; the scene it conveys authenticated by each and every sense. Realising this, through Huysmans’ stimulating reviews, I began to wonder about literary impressionism. Who could be considered an impressionist poet? Verlaine? For me, like Marie Cassat, much of the time, he’s a bit wishy-washy.’

The last Mantegna.

Michelene Wandor: ‘In her will, Mrs van Hopper left me her library. As I went through the books, deciding what to keep and what to give away, I accidentally dropped a copy of Petrarch. Out of it fell a typed letter, addressed to a Count Alessandro Rietti. Three words were underlined in red: the names Isabella and Andrea, and the word “pearl”. The letter referred to a lost painting by Andrea Mantegna, a portrait of Isabella d’Este, the beautiful and powerful wife to one of the Gonzaga Dukes of Mantua.’

George, what is Fluxus?

Simon Collings: ‘In one of the clips Mekas comments: ‘Warhol and George, Warhol and Fluxus, somewhere there, very deep, they were the same. They were both Fluxus, both dealt essentially with nothingness. Both dismissed the current life civilization, everything that is being practised today, everything is the same, didn’t take any of it seriously. Both took life as a game, and laughed at it, each in his own way.’’

Swincum-le-Beau.

Shukburgh Ashby: ‘Richard Fitzwalden, the 18th Baron, is said to have taken a piece of chalk and drawn a line down the stairs, running S to N. The eastern apartment was built for the Baron and his mistress, and the western reserved for his wife, Emma Fitzwalden. On the ground floor, Emma Fitzwalden used the Venetian doorway to the S, and Richard Fitzwalden the door on the N front.’

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.’