John Nash

The PICTURE: Charm School
May 26, 2010

Let’s hear it for charm, an underappreciated quality in the visual arts. If austerity is one of the modern artist’s essential tools, charm also has a distinctive power, although one that’s hardly welcomed by the curators, historians, and critics who shape opinion about modern and contemporary art. Artists risk being overlooked when they emphasize elegant wit, gentle seduction, or beguiling intelligence; they are dismissed as sentimentalists, without the sharp elbows needed to operate effectively in our world.