What is art? The September issue of the Brooklyn Rail

Last summer, Phong Bui offered me the chance to serve as the guest art editor for the September issue of The Brooklyn Rail.  The role brings with it a task: to pose a question.  I asked: what is art?  The question arose in Plato’s time, if not before, and ever since then writers have been addressing it, often vehemently but never conclusively.  From a strictly logical point of view, a question with no clear answer comes under the suspicion of being meaningless.  But a strictly logical point of view never shows us much about art and no one who responded to my question tried to sound like a logician.  The respondents included artists and art historians, an architect, art critics and poets, editors and a gallerist.  Their comments are sometimes puzzling, always brilliant, and ultimately irreconcilable.   Art continues to resist definition—or it might be better to say that whatever is passionately intended and impossible to confine within a general definition has a good chance of counting as art.  In any case, the full range of responses can be found at brooklynrail.org.

About carterratcliff

I am a poet who writes about art and everything else.
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