“All artists are after beauty,” you hear people say. But go to an art gallery or museum of modern art and see if that’s true. Few or none of the works show you beauty. Most are a sort of plastic journalism—their aim is social criticism. They put before you Women’s Rights or The Bankrupt Consumer Society or Evil War or some such other revindication. Many other works of art are experiments in form or in materials. A lot of them are funny—perhaps they make you smile at some incongruency. Beauty is nowhere—it is as if it has been given up by artists. In fact, downright ugliness is sometimes peddled, as if to hurry some evolution away from beauty. Why? Is beauty no longer possible? Was it an ideal that has become outdated?
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How I learned to carve marble statues
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