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Friday, January 21, 2005

ELEVATING THE DISCOURSE 

Sisyphus at Nihilist in Golf Pants, wishing to "attract a higher class of clientele," has recently "decided to become more proactive" by "exploit[ing his] insights into art and art history." His maiden voyage discusses Manet, Goya, and Munch and features links to a representative work by each artist.

I think this is an excellent idea, Sisyphus, and I applaud your efforts. Too often the blogosphere seems like an unsupervised playroom for ADD kids who have run out of Ritalin. Bloggers and their readers have a distressing tendency to skitter from topic to topic without ever really penetrating the surface. Sound and fury signifying nothing, all heat and no light, et cetera. Sometimes the blogosphere even approaches the pornographic in its endless, compulsive pursuit of ultimately meaningless encounters.

It's essential that we step back now and then to take a--what's the best word?--broader view, to really look at the important things in life without stooping to cheap gags or other juvenile tactics. Art appreciation is a wonderful way to do this. And so I shall return serve to Sisyphus by highlighting another painter of note.

Egon Schiele was an Austrian who died at the tragically young age of 28 in 1918. A superb draftsman, he came under the sway of Gustav Klimt and became a leading expressionist. His mature style is typified by a jagged angularity of line and an intensity or even garishness of color that is off-putting to some viewers but arresting and compelling to many others. Here are three fine examples of his work.

Perhaps I like Sisyphus will devote some future posts to art appreciation. Provided I haven't just violated some sort of FCC regulation.

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