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Art And Politics

August 28, 1994

In "The Art of Politics and Just Plain Art" (Aug. 7), art critic Christopher Knight subscribes to the absurd notion that in order to make art, artists "must" dispense with the convention of middle-class morality. It is true some artists defy convention, but where is it written in stone that to qualify as an artist, the artist "must" dispense with conventions? Nowhere . This is only one interpretation of art which poseur radicals and pseudo-intellectuals like Knight subscribe to, preferring art to be used as a political battering ram.

Yet with one swoop, Knight delegitimizes many of the finest artists in history. Towering works of many great masters had no ax to grind--moral, political or otherwise--contrary to Knight's contention.

Portraits, still-lifes, the idealized beauty of face, form, landscape and imaginative impressions captured by the talent and technique of the artist exist sui generis . They put the lie to Knight's rhetoric, which pretends to have superior knowledge of what art "must" be.

MIRIAM JAFFE

Thousand Oaks

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