Lex: " I tend to be indifferent to the notion of beauty as an asset to art because the notion seems trite."
What else is art ultimately about? I have previously stated that what art does is connect us to the world and to each other. What I did not add was that it does so through beauty. Great music is always beautiful music, to take on example. Beautiful does not mean trite. Beauty does not refer sentimental kitsch, or photographs of sunsets. It refers to something much deeper. What you think is beautiful may not be what I think is beautiful, but beauty is always at the core of great art. Keats said it best, "Beauty is truth, truth beauty." And that's it in five words.
Today that understanding has been lost to a great extent. Art, you will learn if you read current criticism and/or go to art school, is not about beauty, it is about ideas. I'm with the great art historian, Sir Herbert Read who said that art was about feelings and that, "If one has ideas to express, the proper medium is language."