Paul Klee: Intimacy and Spectacle

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After reading T.J. Clark's recent review of the exhibition Paul Klee: Making Visible at Tate Modern (through March 9, 2014), Mira Schor considers "the lost condition of modernism."

Schor begins: "When a cultural value or quality is lost or altered by time and fashion to such an extent that its first, indeed even its second and third meanings seem un-recuperable, it is hard for anyone who did not experience that value in its prime to even understand what has been lost. Thus it sometimes seems as if today everything, even 'intimacy' in relation to artwork, has to be put into scare quotes and that it is always knowingly referential in such a manner that what is referenced is turned on its head." She concludes: "I too may find it hard to see in the same way as before some of the works that once gave me the permission to be a certain kind of artist. But that one would feel now that Klee’s 'whole attitude to art-making is elusive,' according to Clark, may speak as much to our culture of spectacular narcissism and self-commodification of any kind of Otherness as to any weakness in Klee’s oeuvre."

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