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Re: Book Art Criticism: New Thoughts



Forgive me, Mr. Brady, but I don't think everything everyone does is
ok; that I'm ok, you're ok, we're all swell, and whatever we wish to
call art is art.

> Bertha, et al.
>
> >   Almost everything the Native Americans made was for a purpose.
>
> Everything is made for a purpose. By everyone. Even nihilistic destruction
> is a purpose. Dadaist insults are for a purpose. Furbies are made for a
> purpose. So, too, the exaltation of blood sacrifices on the pre-Columbian
> continent. Or propitiations for a good harvest.
>
 Perhaps I should have spoken more clearly; when I said
"purpose," I meant utilitarian purpose, i.e., a shawl may be
stunningly beautiful, may be woven of the most wonderful threads,
etc., but it's still a shawl for keeping warm.  A Frank Lloyd Wright
chair may be a work of art but it's also for sitting.

> >   The Quakers made the most stunning furniture and objects, all for
> >   utile reasons.  The Amish women quilters made quilts to be used
> >   yet they put the color field artists to shame.  Where/who/how the
> >   artist is/does should not be a factor. Is the art "true" to its
> >   materials, its text?

I've read so much poetry and looked at so much art in the last 30
years that I feel I can tell if what is presented is sham or truth.
Perhaps I'm presuming too much.
>
> Elaborate on those quotation marks around "true", please.
>
> >   Does it show/tell the artist's truth?
>
How does one know if someone's lying?  If the
watcher/looker/reader is paying attention, is sensitive to the
language of the art I'm thinking that he/she can tell that.

> How can you tell that?
>
> >   Does the
> >   artist know how to exploit his/her materials; is he/she comfortable
> >   with the materials and tools?
>
It's easy to see if an artist is using oils or pastels or watercolors
clumsily; it's easy to see if a book is badly bound.

> Again, how can you tell that?
>
> >   And, if the artist uses text, aside
> >   from the obvious fact that the words should be well written,
> >   cohesive, coherent, etc., does the artist bother to spell the words
> >   right, know grammar and the rules of punctuation?
>
The artist is ultimally responsible, assuming it's a one-of-a-kind
work, and that's what I'm talking about here, for the spelling and
grammar.  And there are rules of grammar--rules that exist to make
the language/the text possible to read and understand.
Unfortunately, the rules of grammar, punctuation, and spelling are
being ignored in books and newspapers.  Unfortunately, many
teachers don't know the difference between the contraction "it's"
and the possessive "its."  And it is important.

> Is the design and production artist responsible for the writing and
> authoring artist's spelling and grammar? Hmmm. Am I my brother's
> grammarian? Maybe the author knows something I don't? Whose truth of
> grammar prevails?
>
>
>
> -------------------
> Michael Brady
> 16 Pedestal Rock Lane
> Durham, NC 27712
> Voice  919 471 9554    fax 919 962 2707
> jbrady@email.unc.edu   http://www.unc.edu/~jbrady/index.html
>
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>

             ***********************************************
            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>
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