Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 5/11

From Harold Rosenberg’s “Extremist Art: Community Criticism,” which can be found in The Tradition of the New:

Among works of the past the artist can only choose between what is art for him and what has become non-art; to keep the art he may have to throw away most of the lot and even the “best.” Nor in his own work will the scale of its meaning be for him to decide. Of course, every artist wants to be as grand as the grandest, but only a fool or a backwoodsman demands of his idea that it submit a list of specifications before being put to work. For an artist today not to feel that painting has lost a great deal since Rubens only makes it more difficult for him to realize that Rubens is not an issue. Admiring inherited masterpieces, however, in order to saddle contemporaries with the responsibility to “equal” them is a trick of totalitarians and busybodies.


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