PRINT Summer 1969

A Variety of Realisms

Modern art, like modern literature and modern life, has lost much. In some directions it has more than compensated for the loss, developing its own complexity and its own—far more subjective—inwardness. But as one brought up on the past (like everyone else), I cannot help regretting what has been lost. The regret is futile, yet I believe that this nostalgia for the past, responsible though it has been for academicism, has also been a vital ingredient of the greatest advanced art of our times. The artist immune to it has that much less to struggle with, but he is also so much the poorer for his immunity. A certain dosage of nostalgia, a certain twinge of academicism, the very struggle against it seem to me to have been indispensable to both Matisse’s and Picasso’s greatness and to have contributed to the superior largeness of their art. . . . Not that the work of the modern artist must by

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