A recent article by Edward Sozanski, art critic for the Philadelphia Inquirer, caught my attention because it firmly dissects new categories of art from old. Digital art from portraiture, etc. In “The Satisfactions of ‘Slow’ Material Art” he first talks about the “old” type of art, or what he calls “material art”:
Material art can be two- or three-dimensional, although … its allure is strongest with media that are worked with the hands or with tools.
And then he correlates “material art” with “slow art”:
[Material arts] are splendid examples of what I like to call “slow art,” not only because they take time to make, but also because they require time to absorb and understand. The longer one looks – and this process can involve years, as it has for me – the more one is able to appreciate both the formal ingenuity and seductiveness of the compositions and the perceptual dualities they generate.
He then refers to ceramicist William Daley’s opening talk at his exhibition of ceramic vessels where he asked people to do something with his pieces that could not be done with newer media.
He invited people to touch and caress his pieces, normally strictly verboten in museums and galleries. What better way to connect with the material than to stroke its surface?
However, I do have a slight rub with this. He is espousing more traditional art forms, however, he breaks traditional norms of the museum by allowing people to touch his pieces which is “normally strictly verboten”. Hmm. We need to find peace between the warring new and old paradigms.