Friday, May 23, 2008

Jed Perl's essay in American Craft is a must read for those who have some sense of what the hand conveys to the values and aesthetics of modern life.

"But by now the conviction that any factory-produced object can be pronounced a work of art (and a great work of art at that) has become disturbingly ubiquitous. And I am inclined to join forces with the Arts and Crafts fundamentalists and insist that there is no such thing as a work of art that is not, first and foremost, a work made by hand."

He goes on to describe a turning point in his thoughts, an exhibit in Japan of the work by Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi.

"...the distinction between a sculpture and a bowl or a plate did not so much dissolve as it gave way to primary assertions, about the character of forms and surfaces, concerns that united the making of radically different types of objects, objects utilitarian and otherwise. What Noguchi suggested was that there are deep, genetic links between the art traditions and the crafts traditions, a shared conviction that the magic is in the making, that in some essential sense the making trumps the conceptualizing, that art must be made before it can be imagined, that the hand leads the eye and the mind."

1 comment:

  1. Can you post a direct link to the article? I went to the website, but was unable to find it.