better painter / worse artist

Years ago I reviewed an exhibition of works on paper and birch by Alex Caldiero. It was an extraordinary exhibit. I ended the review with the statement that “if Caldiero were a better painter he would be a worse artist.”

Open, inventive, searching, and a bit raw, his work moved me like no contemporary painter.

Today, in the German newspaper Die Zeit, just days before he will accept the Norwegian International Drama Prize, Peter Handke said that “ein Künstler dürfe auf keinen Fall ein Könner sein, Kunst bestehe gerade darin, das zu tun, was man nicht könne” / “in no case can an artist be be skilled, art is a matter of working without skill.”

About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at
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