William Hogarth: The Analysis of Beauty 

Born three hundred years ago in Smithfield, London, William Hogarth established himself as a central figure in eighteenth-century English culture through his paintings, engravings, and outspoken art criticism. In this new edition of Hogarth’s Analysis of Beauty—a unique work combining theory with practical advice on painting—Ronald Paulson includes the complete text of the original work; an introduction that places the Analysis in the tradition of aesthetic treatises and Hogarth’s own “moral” works; extensive annotation of the text and accompanying illustrations; and illuminating manuscript passages that Hogarth omitted from the final printed version.

In the development of English aesthetics, the Analysis of Beautytakes a position of high significance. Hogarth’s stature in his own time suggests the importance of his attempt to systematize and theorize his own artistic practice. What he proposes is an aesthetics of the middle range, subordinating both the Beautiful and the Sublime to the everyday world of human choice and contingency—essentially the world of Hogarth’s own modern moral subjects, his engraved works.
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Anthology: Draw It With Your Eyes Closed: The Art of the Art Assignment

Paper Monument is pleased to announce the publication of Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: the Art of the Art Assignment, a unique and wide-ranging anthology featuring essays, drawings, and assignments from over 100 contributors including: John Baldessari, William Pope.L, Mira Schor, Rochelle Feinstein, Bob Nickas, Chris Kraus, Liam Gillick, Amy Sillman, James Benning, and Michelle Grabner. The book debuted at this year’s College Art Association conference in Los Angeles, February 22 – 25.

Art school is at a point of unprecedented popularity both as an enterprise and as an object of critical inquiry. This book examines the complex and often unruly state of art education by focusing on its signature pedagogical form, the assignment.

Practical and quixotic in equal parts, the art assignment can resemble a riddle as much as a recipe, and often sounds more like a haiku, or even a joke, than a clear directive. From introductory exercises in perspective drawing to graduate-level experiments in societal transformation, the assignment coalesces ideas about what art is, how it should be taught, and what larger purpose it might, or might not, serve.

The book is a written record of an evolving oral tradition. Bringing together hundreds of assignments, anti-assignments, and artworks from both teachers and students from a broad range of institutions, we hope it simultaneously serves as an archive and an instigation, a teaching tool and a question mark, a critique and a tribute.

Draw It with Your Eyes Closed: the Art of the Art Assignment is the second in a series of small books by Paper Monument, a journal of contemporary art published in Brooklyn, NY in association with n+1, and designed by Project Projects. The first, I Like Your Work: Art and Etiquette, is now in its fourth edition, and has been featured by WNYC’s The Brian Leher Show, Frieze, and The Economist.

With contributions from: Kamrooz Aram and Lane Arthur, Colleen Asper, Julie Ault, John Baldessari, Judith Barry, Jay Batlle, Martin Beck, James Benning, Andrew Berardini, Mary Walling Blackburn, Jesse Bransford, Thomas Brauer, Jackie Brookner, Peter Brown, Graham Campbell, Nathan Carter, Antoine Catala, Anna Craycroft, Sean Downey, Angela Dufresne, Brad Farwell, Ira Fay, Rochelle Feinstein, Rachel Foullon, Rachel Frank, Laura Frantz, Kenji Fujita, Munro Galloway, Fiona Gardner, Jackie Gendel and Tom McGrath, Liam Gillick, Alfredo Gisholt, Wayne Gonzales, Michelle Grabner, Heather Hart, Corin Hewitt, Christine Hill, Dana Hoey, Shirley Irons, Ryan Johnson, David Kearns, Bill Komodore, Chris Kraus, Julian Kreimer, Fabienne Lasserre, Margaret Lee, David Levine, Miranda Lichtenstein, Justin Lieberman, Pam Lins, Cameron Martin, Jillian Mayer, John Menick, Helen Mirra, Carrie Moyer, Julian Myers and Dominic Willsdon, Bob Nickas, Sofía Olascoaga, Demetrius Oliver, Matt Phillips, William Pope.L, Jessica Powers, Jon Pylypchuck, Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Kurt Ralske, David Robbins, Harry Roseman, Aura Rosenberg, Marina Rosenfeld, George Rush, Mira Schor, Amie Siegel, Jeremy Sigler, Amy Sillman, Michael Smith, Molly Smith, Jo-ey Tang, Paul Thek, Mamie Tinkler, Dan Torop, Patricia Treib, David True, William Villalongo, Oliver Wasow, Richard Wentworth, Tommy White, and Kevin Zucker.

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Draw It With Your Eyes Closed

Brooklyn Rail Review by Norm Paris
Dushko Pretovich talks about Draw it With Your Eyes Closed (Art Forum)

Fairfield Porter: Art in its Own Terms

According to the important American poet John Ashbery, "To read Fairfield Porter is to rediscover art through the eyes of someone whose intuitive love and understanding of it has been matched by few contemporaries," while fellow New York School poet Barbara Guest wrote, "Blunt, intuitive, scholarly, inspired–I believe no other critic has so tackled the meaning of twentieth century art, has tightened our vision of it." Known as one of America's finest and most influential painters, Fairfield Porter (1907-1975) was also a prolific and highly insightful art critic. His writing not only reflects the independent, original mind that presided over his own visual works, but also covers an extraordinary period in American art, in which he played the double role of protagonist and witness. This new edition of "Art in Its Own Terms" restores to print a key statement in the ongoing discussion between Modern art and its past, as Porter reviews such figures as de Kooning, Johns, Cornell, Rodin, Cezanne, Leonardo and many others. Equally seminal are his considerations of the relations between art and science and art and politics. Rackstraw Downes' introduction beautifully sets the stage for this indispensable and wide-ranging volume.

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Additional Resources:
Material Witness: Selected Letters (PDF)
Digitized Selection: Fairfield Porter Papers (via Smithsonian)

Ad Reinhardt: Art as Art: Selected Writings of Ad Reinhardt


Ad Reinhardt is probably best known for his black paintings, which aroused as much controversy as admiration in the American art world when they were first exhibited in the 1950s. Although his ideas about art and life were often at odds with those of his contemporaries, they prefigured the ascendance of minimalism. Reinhardt's interest in the Orient and in religion, his strong convictions about the value of abstraction, and his disgust with the commercialism of the art world are as fresh and valid today as they were when he first expressed them.

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Additional Resources:
Rob Storr on Ad Reinhardt
Oral History Interview with Ad Reinhardt, 1964 (transcript)

Agnes Martin: Writings

Now in its third printing, this collection of letters, journals, and lectures is the standard collection of writings by the artist. "I suggest that people who like to be alone, who walk alone, will perhaps be serious workers in the art field."–Agnes Martin.

An Excerpt from Beauty is the Mystery of Life:

All artwork is about beauty; all positive work represents it and
celebrates it. All negative art protests the lack of beauty in
our lives. When a beautiful rose dies, beauty does not die
because it is not really in the rose. Beauty is an awareness in
the mind. It is a mental and emotional response that we make. We
respond to life as though it were perfect. When we go into a
forest we do not see the fallen rotting trees. We are inspired
by a multitude of uprising trees. We even hear a silence when it
is not really silent. When we see a newborn baby we say it is
beautiful – perfect.
The goal of life is happiness and to respond to life as though
it were perfect is the way to happiness. It is also the way to
positive artwork.
It is not in the role of an artist to worry about life – to feel
responsible for creating a better world. This is a very serious
distraction. All your conditioning has been directed toward
intellectual living. This is useless in artwork. All human
knowledge is useless in artwork. Concepts, relationships,
categories, classifications, deductions are distractions of mind
that we wish to hold free for inspiration.

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Additional Reading:
Beauty is the Mystery of Life (text)
Perfection is in the mind: An Interview with Agnes Martin (transcript)
Agnes Martin speaks about Emotion and Art- The Guggenheim (transcript)

Video:
Agnes Martin: Tate Shots
Interview with Agnes Martin (1997)
Tate Lecture: Agnes Martin: Innocence the Hardway

Yoko Ono: Grapefruit


Grapefruit is an artist's book written by Yoko Ono, originally published in 1964. It has become famous as an early example of conceptual art, containing a series of "event scores" that replace the physical work of art -the traditional stock-in-trade of artists – with instructions that an individual may, or may not, wish to enact.

"Grapefruit is one of the monuments of conceptual art of the early 1960s. She has a lyrical, poetic dimension that sets her apart from the other conceptual artists. Her approach to art was only made acceptable when white men like Kosuth and Weiner came in and did virtually the same thing as Yoko, but made them respectable and collectible."
-David Bourdon

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Yoko Ono Reading From (Selection Of) Grapefruit