Viewing art “involves very close looking, but also being open to a variety of ideas,” author and art critic Jed Perl told students. Mr. Perl was on campus as the Melissa Dilworth Gold visiting artist. He showed students various works by artists such as Picasso, Corot and Mondrian, and he discussed the process of “looking at something with your eyes and then figuring out what you are looking at. There is a back-and-forth between looking at it and making sense of it.” Mr. Perl is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. He was the art critic for the New Republic for 20 years and a contributing editor to Vogue for a decade. His books include Magicians and Charlatans, Antoine’s Alphabet, and New Art City.
“There is a tendency to think we are looking for one correct answer, a single key to unlock the puzzle, but that’s not how intellectual curiosity works. There are no simple answers.”