Kamarck, Edward (ed.) / Arts in society: the arts and the black revolution
Notes and discussion: an interview with Alberto Davila, pp. 356-357 PDF (1.4 MB)
Davis, Douglas M.
Notes and discussion: the critic now, pp. 357-359 PDF (1.8 MB)
Cubism, but at times you can't define a "movement," a tendency, an "Ism" so much in terms of its results and have to consider it in terms of the artist's intention . . . . in recent years more and more I've been interested in 'fractioning,' breaking up colors. I'm not as interested now as I was in textures. I suppose I'm going toward OP, have been since 1966, but at my own speed and in my own way. That's the only way it's legitimate, I think, if I arrive at it myself. You know that Verdi never listened to Wagner, avoided him at all costs, not because he though he wouldn't like Wagner, but because he was afraid he'd like him too much, that he'd fall under his spell. But still, he arrived at some Wagnerian grandeur himself didn't he-think of Othello, Falstaff ... . Of course Latin American art has been absorbed by abstractionism in the last few years. Look at Tamayo, I try to avoid too much sophistication, try to keep concentrating on 'feeling,' on the directness of emotion . . . for me that's the only way I can guarantee my own sincerity and 'purity' of expression . . . ." "But always with an eye on the 'market,' " I said with a smile. His answer was a little bitter. Not much, he had it under control, but the bitterness was there. "With the Sol devaluated and the cost of living rising at 15% a month I suppose you have to keep an eye on the market just to survive." THE CRITIC NOW A Statement by Douglas M. Davis The impasse we have now reached as critics goes much deeper than terminology. The dissatisfaction expressed on every hand by artists, younger critics, and the audience is symptomatic of more than cultural lag, though lag there is. In a time when art is ready to deny even that it is art, criticism retreats into itself. In a time when art opens out to embrace a universe beyond logic, criticism retreats to formal rhetoric. The best we seem able to do is play games with structures and viewpoints proper to the machine and not the computer age. The worst we do is indulge the childish needs of a society still hungry for judgments: the paradox of our time is that as we learn to soften the rigid categories of morality and legality, we harden our esthetics. But there are clues to a new attitude in the making. Clues telling us that criticism must invade art as art is invading life. "I am not interested in passing out grades to works of art," writes Susan Sontag. In work like this, pleads Dick Higgins, in behalf of Benjamin Patterson, Philip Corner, Allison Knowles, and Tomas Schmidt, "where the technical skills required to do the best of the work are frankly replaced by skill in embodying ideas, is it asking too much that the people who will crilicise this kind of work be, like the artist, at least somewhat skilled in handling these kinds of ideas?" Here are the ideals that can start us 357