Who needs Tyler when you can just make tangential microaggressions?
It seems that the fact that these works have not been exhibited in the United States since 1989—which is to say that they have never been shown in Europe—has something to do with the fact that they are not about as much as they used to be. It is not only the absence of any tangible physical presence that is to blame for this; the work is almost completely devoid of personality. The works seem flat, even claustrophobic, their surfaces smudged, their colored backgrounds a mess of gold and silver that becomes a sort of invisible prison.This is not to say that the art has become less important, or even that it has become less beautiful. Indeed, the difference between what is old and beautiful is the difference between what is alive and beautiful, and what is dead and beautiful. If the work of art has not yet met with the kind of antiheroic refusal to play the ugly hand of the artist who can make it look like an impossible pose, this is because the kind of work that is beautiful is still a product of the artist who creates it. The beauty of art is not just a function of the artist who makes it, but of the act of making it. The art does not just disappear; it turns into a message, a mission, a journey, a pilgrimage. While Tyler might be describing an art that exists outside of time, and therefore between the worlds of the senses, the journey, the pilgrimage, and the beauty that comes with it, he is also describing a type of intimacy that is in some way more intimate, and that is still beautiful. The artist knows the journey will end, and he knows it will end with the absence of the viewer.