An open mind. The observer’s first response to a work of art can be crucial. This original perception may be trusted so long as it’s lucid, guileless and pristine. A moment of fresh vision takes place before the thinking mind can intervene to rationalise and perhaps sully what has been seen. A bad or second-rate work of art should fall at this first critical hurdle. Sometimes, however, initial responses can be oddly deceptive: too easy liking may presage later dismissal; and a provocative artwork that is furiously rejected at first may soon be wholly appreciated.

A childlike (though never childish) ...


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