I see I did indeed sort of mis-speak, in earlier post, linking art & understatement & nostalgia. I got sidelined, I didn't quite get it right.
It's not so much or only nostalgia - though of course that's there, in a lot of writing.
The link between art & understatement is something that stems from the ongoing relation (or dialectic-synthesis) between art & experience. By experience I mean what the Russians call byt : ordinary day-to-day life, those experiences we muddle through in various turns of anxiety, guile, ennui, fear, hope, courage, disillusionment, resignation, etc. etc.
& maybe the midwest has a certain distinctive style of shaping this relation, which emphasizes modesty & understatement (& maybe purposeful evasion).
& the point I was originally trying to make is this : the important thing is that direct unmediated ongoing living relationship between art and experience, beauty and the byt. The study & sale of same is a secondary sideline, a mass of distracting epiphenomena.