Intro to Roy McMakin exhibit at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
This opening paragraph from the Roy McMakin: Middle exhibition brochure from Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is the best definition of art I’ve read in awhile.
Walk into a room and in a matter of seconds (on a subconscious level) your mind identifies and categorizes every major thing that is visible: there’s a person on the right (female, white, forty years old); there’s a group of geometric wood objects (furniture: table, chairs, bookcase); there’s a spherical object on the table (vase: ceramic); and a hole in the wall with an overhanging section (architectural features: fireplace, mantle). This reaction is not only the way in which we orient ourselves to the world, but also a fundamental human survival skill, ingrained into our consciousness by millions of years of evolution. When something unusual, outside of simple categorization, is thrown into our field of view, we pause, look, and consider. These anomalies are usually figured out rather quickly, but the man-made ones that we continue to come back to with questions—sometimes for centuries—fall into another category: art. – Richard Klein, exhibitions director
You can download a PDF of the entire essay here.