What Happened?

The idea that doubt can be heroic, if it is locked into a structure as grand as that of the paintings of Cezanne’s old age, is one of the keys to our century. A touchstone of modernity itself.

—Robert Hughes on Cezanne

So much of art – not all of it thank god, but a lot of it – has just become a kind of cruddy game for the self-aggrandisement of the rich and the ignorant, it is a kind of bad but useful business.

—Robert Hughes

The ‘pure’ gaze is a historical invention linked to the emergence of an autonomous field of artistic production, that is, a field capable of imposing its own norms on both the production and the consumption of its products […] An art which, like all Post-Impressionist painting, is the product of an artistic intention which asserts the primacy of the mode of representation over the object of representation demands categorically an attention to form which previous art only demanded conditionally.

—Bourdieu

Love in Paris …

Love in Paris …

Socrates was told that some man had not been improved by travel. ‘I am sure he was not,’ he said. ‘He went with himself!’

—Montaigne and Socrates

Ambition, covetousness, irresolution, fear and desires do not abandon us just because we have changed our landscape.

—Montaigne

I would like to be a free artist and I regret God has not given me the strength to be one. I hate lies and violence in all their forms. Pharisaism, dull-wittedness and tyranny reign not only in merchants’ homes and police stations… [but] in science, in literature, among the younger generation. That is why I cultivate no predilection for policemen… scientists, writers, or the younger generation. I look upon tags and labels as prejudices. My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and the most absolute freedom from violence and lies.

—Anton Chekov

In Anton Chekhov’s presence everyone involuntarily felt in himself or herself a desire to be simpler, more truthful, more one’s self.

—Penguin Classics Introduction

London

London

It’s only fools and charlatans who know everything and understand everything.

—Anton Chekov