Thursday, June 7, 2007

the best of times

A line in the New Yorker this week surprised me. Peter Schjeldahl was writing a review of the Richard Serra retrospective at MOMA and he said of the artist's work displayed in Gehry's museum in Bilbao, "To experience Serras in the Bilbao Guggenheim is to know how wonderful our present age can be." You don't often hear, or read, statements about how good life is. Particularly a generalized statement, like that one. He didn't say how good our current art world situation is, or how good the world of sculpture and architecture are right now. He said, "our present age."

I remember in high school I remarked once to my music teacher how pathetic our current music was compared to the composers I loved, all dead: the great classical composers. That comment was a product of my ignorance, not the poverty of the age. And also a product of human culture wistful with nostalgia.

Someday, inevitably, someone is going to look back on today as a golden age. Perhaps we could foster the same perspective.

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