Via Ross, number 4,839,215 in the ongoing series of tedious conservative jeremiads against modern art manages to be not only willfully, proudly obtuse (no surprises there) but, it seems to me, fairly openly un-conservative. Here’s the author’s main beef:
Modern art is ideological, as its proponents are the first to admit. It was the ideologues, namely the critics, who made the reputation of the abstract impressionists, most famously Clement Greenberg’s sponsorship of Jackson Pollock in The Partisan Review. It is not supposed to “please” the senses on first glance, after the manner of a Raphael or an Ingres, but to challenge the viewer to think and consider.
This is a conservative view? We’re supposed to reject any art or cultural product that isn’t easy and immediately pleasing? What happened to the idea that the great works of the Western canon often require—and repay—careful study? That a fully adult aesthetic sense requires a measure of education? Maybe next we can remove the Oedipus trilogy from the curriculum, because man, Sophocles is a bummer. There’s a whole line of uplifting Chicken Soup for the Soul books we could swap in instead.