Meandering in and out of rooms at a museum, you are sometimes tempted to humanize artworks. Imagining them as creatures that breathe might elicit disdainful sniggers from some quarters but it does allow you an opportunity to appreciate the continuously tense relationship between art and time. Individuals gain in character, lose their bearings, grow old gracefully or diminish gracelessly; likewise, artworks mature with intensity, acquire the status of wise, watchful objects or get reduced under the burden of age. Sometimes, they lapse into spells of extended coma.

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