"Self-portrait" oil on canvas,

10" x 8", 2017

ART TALK:  A monthly quote from the field of art and aesthetics.

January-February 2017


On Beauty and the Sublime

A Selection from Edith Hall's Review of "The Lesbian Lyre", Jan. 2017.

Dear Readers,  please accept my apologies for being so late at updating Art Talk.

The following is from Edith Hall's review in the Jan. 6, 2017 Times Literary Supplement of "The Lesbian Lyre" by Jeffrey M. Duban.


“The reasons why critics of the Let run away from the concepts of beauty, sublimity and value are that they do not want to endorse a type of language associated with elites,  and “sublimity” and “beauty” have indeed often lain in the contingent, subjective eye of ruling class beholders. “


Edith Hall quotes an 1933 essay by T.S. Eliot where he writes “The ‘Marxian,’ “is compelled to scorn delights…and live laborious days in deciding what art ought to be”.  “The Marxian must renounce  ”The furtive and facile pleasures of Homer and Virgil” for enquiries into the ethnicity and political allegiances of these authors at best, and the “social criticism” of modern novelists such as Hemingway at worst.”


“The concept of the dialectic which Marxism inherited from Hegel is also promising; some aestheticians of the Left have experimented with the idea that art is excellent to the extent that it symbolically crystallizes the ideological conflicts which drive history and cultural change.”


In closing her article, Hall brings the reader up to date with recent scientific experiments.   “Neuroscience has begun physically to measure art’s effects on the parts of the brain which respond to pleasure, and to show how rhythm can decrease anxiety, regularize heartbeat, and produce happiness- inducing chemicals.”


(Reminds me of a poster of a bunch of zonked out hippies from back in the day with the title, "Better living through chemistry!")  Just saying...






Joseph D. Lawrence © 2016


I am a contemporary artist, located in New York City, specializing in painting, drawing and mixed media.  I hope to provide a forum for the exchange of ideas with others interested in the arts.  If you like this site, be sure to tell your friends.


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Self portrait photo a la Warhol's "Interview."


Self portrait photo a la Warhol's "Interview."
Self portrait photo a la Warhol's "Interview."