Just finished Reclaiming Art... today. The following adjectives may not be worth much coming from a novice, but I render them anyway: brilliant, deep, timely - as fully "astonishing" a work of art itself as those the author distinguishes from the artifices of current politics.
Gems like this suffuse the whole book:
"But unfortunately the guardedness that is so essential to our mental well-being in this media-saturated world also contributes to the rampant apathy that is frosting over the globe like the beginnings of an unprecedented psychic ice age" (p. 25)
"In addition to being a turning point in military history, then, the bomb is an event in the history of art. It is the ultimate work of didactic artifice, the American promise of a Greatest Show on Earth perversely fulfilled." (p. 137)
I could go on but won't; I imagine most participants here are way ahead of me, but whoever hasn't read this one should!
I got the sense from what I read that art does not seek to soften or mitigate primal mystery, rather it is artifice that pulls "singular" meanings out of the unknowable to allay fears. (And artifice is not necessarily "wrong"; it just falls short of true art in that sense.)
@jjf.martel, Thank you, sir, for a thought-provoking and enjoyable experience! If I misread anything in my comments above, let me know.