I want to call to mind certain twentieth-century art historians who—like the rhapsodists of old—tried and remembered to capture the moment, or rather the place, where interpretation stops short in the awareness that nothing more can be said: the sensation that erupts with the suddenness of experiencing the frailty of human comprehension in the face of something material beyond all understanding. Should we call this melancholic recognition the aesthetic moment?

Michael Ann Holly  |  2013