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Re: Book Art History

On Oct 26, 1995 16:42:40, 'Charles Alexander <chax@MTN.ORG>' wrote:

>There are many examples of great
>artists who did not have such direct experience with previous art. There
>also examples of extremely boring artists who have the best of experiences

>with previous art. Thinking one HAS to do something before one has the
>possibility of being an artist -- that seems like a snob attitude to me.

That's right. But experience sure can't hurt (I know--I've had a lot of
experiences that hurt too, but give me a break on a turn of speech). Some
people have more cognitive capacity than others. But whatever level of
perception you bring to it, knowing more is better than less. I've learned
a lot from boring artists (at least when they were master artisans, or they
had something important to say but were not very good at communication).
I'm so glad this subject is of interest to others! What is Art? WHAT IS AN

I think everyone has total experience with previous art. Art is the result
of an act of creation. If you take a shit it wasn't there before. It's a
creation. There are aesthetic experiences in all sorts of acts of creation,
not just what is assumed to be "art" by some established authority. Hey--I
know about this! I was the one whose binding on _The Birdsof North America_
was pulled out of the Guild of BookWorkers exhibit at Yale in 1975 because
I had sewn a pheasant onto the cover.

But I have to say, there may be "examples of great artists who did not have
such direct experience with previous art," but even naive art is based on a
life's experience with created artifacts in the context of a social
structure. If one chooses Book Art as their medium, one is delving into the
realm of the meta-art of the preservation and transmission of knowledge. So
a big part of this art is the development of preservation structures which
harmonize with the metaphor of the content, or are themselves the content.


Richard Minsky

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