An artist chooses a piece of text in an art book

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I am going to describe a situation, and then ask a crucial question about it. I hope it doesn't strike you as unduly gnomic. But if it does, that's modern art for you. Here's the situation. An artist chooses a piece of text in an art book. The text considers the diversity of pictures. 'What are they all about?' it asks dumbly, before deciding, even more dumbly: 'There is no end, in fact, to the number of different kinds of pictures.' Okay, this is kiddy-language, and so far all it has betrayed is kiddy-thinking. But stick with me, all you adults out there. The situation is about to complicate itself.

Having settled on his text, the man then asks someone else to make a canvas for him, to stretch it and prime it, and then to take it along to a sign painter. He asks the sign painter to write the chosen text on the canvas. And he gives the sign painter specific instructions not to attempt anything flashy or charming with the lettering. The sign painter does all this. On a white canvas, in simple black letters, he writes the chosen text. So my crucial question is this: is the finished product a painting?

21 What is the writer's purpose in paragraph 2?
A to patronise the reader
B to deny a contradiction
C to trivialise a concept
D to insult artists in general

22 What is called into question in the final paragraph?
A the validity of the work of art
B the reputation of the artist
C the quality of the materials
D the skill of the sign painter

An artist chooses a piece of text in an art book


Text: Cambridge University Press

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