Brainpickings asked artist extraordinaire Wendy MacNaughton to illustrate Susan Sontag’s reflections on art and the results are truly wonderful.
The quotes used were carefully culled by Brainpickings from more than 1,000 pages of diary entries from both the same volume and the one preceding it, Reborn: Journals and Notebooks, 1947-1963.
Here they are…
All aesthetic judgment is really cultural evaluation. (9/3/1956)
All great art contains at its center contemplation, a dynamic contemplation. (9/10/1964)
Modern aesthetics is crippled by its dependence upon the concept of ‘beauty.’ As if art were ‘about’ beauty—as science is ‘about’ truth! (9/10/1964)
Art is a form of consciousness (11/1/1964)
Art is a form of nourishment (of consciousness, the spirit) (11/25/1964)
Could get a new art movement every month just by reading Scientific American. (3/26/1965)
Art is the production of mental events in / as a concrete sensuous form (12/4/1979)
Why has there been no new international style in 50 years? Because the new ideas, the new needs are not yet clear. (Hence, we content ourselves with variations + refinements on Art Deco and, for refreshment + fusions, parodistic — ‘pop’ — revivals of older styles.) (8/8/1975)
The only interesting ideas are heresies (6/30/1975)