Why Art Became Ugly

Navigator (Volume 7, Number 7), September 2004.
Translations: German [pdf], Korean [pdf], Spanish, and Portuguese. Polish translation forthcoming.

The Next Revolution in Art

My 2015 lecture in Hong Kong. Translation into Cantonese.

Taking Modern Artists at Their Word

Published in The Good Life series at, September 2014. Translation into Portuguese.

The Most Important Artist of the Century

The Good Life series at, December 2014. Translation into Portuguese.

Does Martin Creed Speak for All of Us?

On Creed’s 2016 retrospective at New York’s Armory, and what the sad-sack irritant’s significance is for the contemporary art world.

Post-Postmodern Art

Originally published in The Newberry Manifesto, 2001. Also available in a reprint version with images of the relevant works [pdf]. Slide show version with images [PowerPoint]. Serbo-Croatian translation [pdf] by Alma Causevic. Arabic translation by Moin Jaffar Mohammed.

Two Views on Cinema and Capitalism

Interview with Prodos Marinakis, Secretary of the Australian Council of Film Societies.


All of my art-related posts. Samples: * The best religious conservative song ever. * Aristotle at Pixar Animation Studios. * The difficulties of being/not being an artist. * How great artists become great — Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky. * Competing epistemological imperatives in the arts. * Kant and Modern Art.

For use in my courses, my Art Images page.

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8 thoughts on “Art

  • June 21, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I made my way here from The Atlas Society.

    In your writings on art and architecture, have you explored the close relationship between the Bauhaus and Logical Positivism?

  • June 21, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    Hi Jim. No, not specifically on that topic, but it’s an interesting one. Let me know if you come across something good on that, please.

  • June 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    Here are some ideas which I’m looking into. I graduated with a B. of Arch in 1990, and as you probably know, the Austrian and German influence on the U.S. was huge (Gropius, van der Rohe, etc.). The first paper gives a good outline.

    Leftist/Marxist (call them what you will, there were many variants) in the early 20th Century (especially in Vienna and Germany) not only saw ownership of the material means of production as a way of “oppressing” labor but they also held that language was imbued with many “metaphysical” (to them, meaningless) words that supported the Monarchy’s historical claim to power. They also saw this “oppression” in the use of historical architecture styles, academic paintings, and art academies that required art to conform with Classicism, etc.

    Just as the Logical Positivists sought to reduce all problems in philosophy to problems of language use via. subjecting language and propositions to “proofs” (as similarly done in mathematics), so to did Modernist/Bauhaus architecture seek to do away with historical classical references, tripartite forms, etc. They sought to develop a “scientific” architecture of “pure” syntax and form. Schoenberg’s development of the 12 tone row, in opposition to Major and Minor Modes was also influenced by the First Vienna Circle and Positivist writings of Mach.

  • June 22, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I made a reply that is hung up in moderation.

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