Robert Hughes, the great art critic, died yesterday. I've posted this quote before, and I'm doing it again, because what he says is essential and true.
"And I don't think we are ever again obliged to look at a plywood box or a row of bricks on the floor or a video tape of some twit from the University of Central Paranoia sticking pins in himself and think 'This is the real thing. This is the necessary art of our time. This needs respect.' Because it isn't and it doesn't. And nobody cares.
The fact is that anyone except a child can make such things because children have the kind of direct, sensuous and complex relationship with the world around them that modernism, in its declining years, was trying to deny. That relationship is the lost paradise that art wants to give back to us. Not as children but as adults. It's also what the modern and the old have in common: Pollock with Turner, Matisse with Rubens or Braque with Poussin. And the basic project of art is always to make the world whole and comprehensible, to restore it to us in all its glory and its occasional nastiness, not through argument but through feeling. And then to close the gap between everything that is you and not you... and in this way to pass from feeling to meaning."
Robert Hughes (The Shock of the New, 1980)