Aphorisms for Artists by Walter Darby Bannard

Aphorism #13

When art writing seems incomprehensible, chances are it is.

Many people have told me of being intimidated by some incomprehensible piece of artgarble.

Years ago, after I gave a commencement talk at a midwestern art school, a student came up to me and asked me to visit his studio. I expected to look at his work when I got there, but instead he picked up a copy of Artforum and asked me to explain an article. As I recall, it was titled “Transcendental Antifetishism.”

“Good grief!” I responded. “Throw out the magazine and make art.”

His relief was palpable. I left feeling that I had done a good deed.

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