New inventions like the printing press and the camera threatened [the picture-painter's] activity, however, and he was able to continue producing pretentious pictures only by exerting a tremendous amount of wit. He pictured the effects of phenomena in spectrum-colored light. He distorted natural images. He painted funny-looking people and wild, childish scenes, and played with subconscious ideals and space-time symbols. His work recorded his personal maladjustment to life and people, and he thought for a moment that he could adjust himself by introducing new "subjects." He became, even, a regional and political hero again for a day--but it was of little use, framed "picture-making" became a lean and mean business.



from PAINTINGS AND PICTURES, 1943 lecture.


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