PRINT January 2009



Leandro Erlich, Window and Ladder—Too Late for Help, 2008, metal, ladder, fiberglass, brick, 14' 9“ x 5' 3”.

DELVING INTO ART HISTORIAN Christopher S. Wood’s consideration of legendary Renaissance scholar Michael Baxandall in the current issue, readers may have the sneaking suspicion that they are being directly and personally addressed by the text’s first line: “Money is very important in the history of art.”

For while those droll words are, in fact, merely cited by Wood—he is, of course, quoting from Baxandall’s 1972 book Painting and Experience in Fifteenth-Century Italy—and speak to things at a historical distance, their fundamental point, and intended implications, are entirely pertinent to our contemporary context. True enough, Baxandall was concerned with extrapolating ideas from masterfully imagined aspects of living culture from long ago: the typical Quattrocento businessperson’s quick knack for calculating the volume of a barrel or bale, for instance, or for recognizing

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