As long as art is the beauty parlor of civilization, neither art nor civilization is secure.
The fact that science tends to show that man is a part of nature has an effect that is favorable rather than unfavorable to art when its intrinsic significance is realized and when its meaning is no longer interpreted by contrast with beliefs that come to us from the past.
An environment that is changed physically and spiritually demands new forms of expression.
“Imagination” shares with “beauty” the doubtful honor of being the chief theme in esthetic writings of enthusiastic ignorance.
But all rankings of higher and lower are, ultimately, out of place and stupid. Each medium has its own efficacy and value.
Whatever narrows the boundaries of the material fit to be used in art hems in also the artistic sincerity of the individual artist.
Refusal to acknowledge the boundaries set by convention is the source of frequent denunciations of objects of art as immoral. But one of the functions of art is precisely to sap the moralistic timidity that causes the mind to shy away from some materials and refuse to admit them into the clear and purifying light of perceptive consciousness.
…it is but a step from the sublime to the ridiculous.
Demand for variety is the manifestation of the fact that being alive we seek to live, until we are cowed by fear or dulled by routine. The need of life itself pushes us out into the unknown.
Vision cannot then complete itself. It is broken up into a succession of disconnected acts, now seeing this, now that, and no mere succession is a series.