Today’s art-viewing limbo offers us some new ways of considering art through mediation—our screens, of course, but also words. Reading about art is now one of the more direct ways we have of experiencing it at all. Unlike online exhibitions or digital collection databases, art writing doesn’t usually try to reproduce or replicate art objects, but rather to describe them from a particular angle, one that complicates or deepens the experience of seeing them. Right now, I’m finding art writing to be a welcome kind of sideways approach to artworks, a stand-in for looking that isn’t overly virtualized. With that in mind, I came up with a reading list: six novels by living authors that deal with visual or performing arts.
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