The attack on art - for being, just art - has to have been abetted by modernism's peculiar, reductive way of affirming the autonomy of art, which derived much of its energy by denying the idea of hierarchy among kinds of art. Shorn of the support of received ways of discriminating among subjects and destinations, the nature of pictures was inexorably subjectivized; and archly plebeianized.
The two leading assertions in this reduced field of saying this painter. The painter asserts that the pictures don't need to be "explained". The painter explains that the pictures should, properly be regarded as "things".