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Mark: Barnet Newman as nihilist? That's hard to understand: his
work could be characterized as "anti-nihilist" in that it probes the
big basic questions of existence, and is intensely spiritual.
This may not be evident to the casual viewer, or through the
compromise of reproductions, but his works are at once powerfully
physical, intellectual, and emotional--anything but nihilist.
Perhaps this response to your message exemplifies the value of open
discussion about art, to avoid pat answers and assumptions. And
surely the ideas behind the images are much more potent than mere
analysis of the "elements" employed to convey them.
-Patience Young, Stanford Museum