Tag Archives: Theodor Adorno

The Sky and The World

A quote from Adorno“A man gazing peacefully at the sky may at times be closer to truth than another who accurately follows the ‘Eroica.’”How could someone who would say this ever be called an elitist? Maybe because the advocates of … Continue reading

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Animals All

Following on from the preceding post, here’s another few words from Adorno that fit well, this time from his unfinished book on Beethoven: “What I find so suspect in Kantian ethics is the ‘dignity’ which they attribute to man in … Continue reading

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Improvisation Again

I published a little piece on Abstract Critical about improvisation. Even though the article was itself improvised, and advertised the fact, that didn’t prevent it from being misunderstood. I wish I had included this comment from Adorno as additional clarification: … Continue reading

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Education as Barrier to Experience

To read Adorno is always a pleasure, though not unmixed with pain. The painful bits are the best—at least any artist who can feel a dissonance should think so. Looking back at an earlier post about art education we might … Continue reading

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Secrets of the Studio

As an exponent of organicism, and of the artwork that produces itself, I naturally find these words of Adorno very interesting: “…you will find that great tonal music actually bears some resemblance to a puzzle. The movements of the greatest … Continue reading

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Single Shapes

I’ve been pondering the work of Jeff Tutt, and its difference from mine. Familiarity with his work makes me notice this very small piece that was lying in a corner of the studio. I can’t remember why I did it … Continue reading

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A Night at the Opera

I’m on an Adorno kick these days, because he is so right, but doubt that makes him much loved in the art world. As with any great critic, the common response is willful misunderstanding. As a corrective to the normal … Continue reading

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Artist of the Naive Type

This painting by Schoenberg shows the composer and a couple of his cronies getting stinkers in an Austrian beer garden. (Schoenberg is at the back, leaning over a table.) I wonder what words of Adorno would be most appropriate? Perhaps … Continue reading

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Variable Decline

Adorno’s ruminations on the difficulty of “new music” include the following, which supports my own earlier comments on Richter-style abstraction and music: “Tonal complexes [in Wagner]…are already conceived in such a way as not to be perceived with the same … Continue reading

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New Music

Following from the previous post, to quote critics and philosophers, which I occasionally do on this blog, has some use, namely to confirm the best part of oneself. In this it’s similar to the young artist’s imitation of work that … Continue reading

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Critics and Philosophers

Critics and philosophers are useful for the most paradoxical reason—because they confirm what one instinctively knows. Some critics and philosophers. The reason for this can only be that the world around us, including the art world and everything that people … Continue reading

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Adorno and the Life of Art

I’ve always been struck by an article of Adorno’s called “The Aging of the New Music.” The title alone is enough to think about, and it was in my mind when I wrote an earlier post about Ehrenzweig. What he … Continue reading

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Science and Aesthetics

From Walter Benjamin: The place occupied in Goethe’s writings by his scientific studies is the one which in lesser artists is commonly reserved for aesthetics. This aspect of Goethe’s work can be appreciated only when one realizes that, unlike almost … Continue reading

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Non-Identical

Still tracing the boundaries of my concept of the inhuman. If we could use the word “nature” the way it was used in philosophy and science in the 19th. century for example, I would much prefer that. But today nature … Continue reading

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