Years ago I read a great little sci-fi short story about an artist whose work "cracked the code of subjectivity" [this is my way of putting it], creating sculptures of indisputable beauty. That is, he gained intuition about how to combine shapes, curves and proportions such that everyone, without exception, found his work perfectly sublime.

Here are few other vague bits I can remember:

  • Vaguely antagonistic characters wanted to analyze his work, so the technique could be exploited

  • The sculptor sculpted using some kind of futuristic device, possibly using his voice to determine the shapes

  • "Years ago" could be 5 years ago, could be 75 years ago. Could you please narrow it down a little?
    – user14111
    Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 17:13
  • I read the story 10-15 years ago. But, I'm unsure when it was published. From the subject matter, I'd guess after WWII, but before personal computers? Commented Sep 10, 2013 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


I believe I've got it!

The story is "Eye of the Beholder" by Burt K. Filer. It appears in the short story anthology Again, Dangerous Visions (editor Harlan Ellison).


Peter Lukas' long-awaited show opened at the Guggenheim today, and may have shaken confidence in the oldest tenet of art itself: that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

(The story begins in epistolary style, then gives way to traditional third-person narration.)

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