At a moment when all received aesthetic orthodoxies have descended into that special purgatory reserved for the bankruptcy of incomplete ideas developed beyond their narrow limits, and when the world itself is lost in an inflation of trivia into cynical grandiosity, it is fitting that Irving Petlin should emerge as one of the very few authentic artists in late twentieth century America. Now is the moment in which art and human experience seem to be hopelessly adrift and severed from each other: memory, history and the sense of a possible humanity are carefully excluded from the consciousness of individuals; and the manipulation of aesthetic means and strategies has become a mannerist end in itself, like a technology running wild and out of control. But Petlin dares to retain a vision both moral and aesthetic, of the wholeness of consciousness and experience, and to remind us that the highest function of art is to transmit such a vision to the world.
This catalogue was published on the occassion of the exhibition Irving Petlin: Weisswald, September 12 - October 10, 1987, at Kent Fine Art, Inc., New York.
Kent Fine Art, Inc., New York, 1987
Papberback, 10 x 7.5 in.
33 pp. 8 color plates.
out of print