Posts Tagged ‘crticism’

So like many bloggers when in a writing funk I can again only offer tidbits. I have been musing on how art develops as an artist ages and matures but I don’t know enough about it to write yet and I’m still working on items about street art gentrification and madness and art but no one piece is coming together. I’d like to write about the weirdest email I got today acknowledging receipt of a job application which caused me to wonder if I’d actually want to work in that place.

Anyhow The Montana book award shortlists were announced yesterday and many have commented on the amount of visual arts books. Of course there is the spat about only 4 fiction titles being shortlisted and other items and the anti-Wellington sentiment creeping in again. The best comment I’ve read read on that topic so far is on Beattie’s Book blog where an anonymous commenter replies to “what’s Wellington got to do with it?” with “Wellington shot bambi’s mother”. And while there is talk of some Wellington cabal I really don’t think regionalism is the problem here. On a brighter note one of the better books I’ve read lately, Waimarino County, was shortlisted in biography section. Author Martin Edmond muses on this here.

Speaking of books, the illustrated version of Denis Glover’s Magpies has been reprinted. Illustrator Dick Frizzell says “It sank a bit when it was released actually. I threatened to reprint it myself and eventually the publishers came to the party so it was reprinted and it just kind of hung around by the skin of its teeth until it reached some sort of tipping point in the public consciousness…Although I have never called it a children’s book, a lot of parents have told me their kids wanted it read again and again until the book fell to bits. I just don’t know what the kids would be actually hearing.” Its now on MY shopping list.

I also read this interesting interview with John Updike, which begins. 

NEH Chairman Bruce Cole: I think I may have told you that in my former life I was an art historian. While there are many Ph.D. art historians, the people I most enjoyed reading were the poets and the critics who brought great language to their description of art and were able to express the meaning of the art.

John Updike: I think it’s a field where to be an amateur is not necessarily a disgrace. Some of the best have been, in a sense, amateurs-Baudelaire and Henry James, to name two.

I guess this spiked my interest because I read recently how Rita Angus hated non-artists (Fairburn and Fred Page were the examples) acting as art critics and felt they were out of their ‘zone’. She said, in turn she would not think of critiquing their music or poetry. This is something that is very common in New Zealand but there are a fair amount of people who are critics, artists and writers. It would make a good debate I think.


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