Very simply, Naimark shows two prominent classes of art. “First Word” art is art that is innovative in concept or execution.  “Last Word” art is art that stands the test of time, is the best of its kind for a general body of a concept or type of execution.

As humans, we naturally desire to explore, to seek connections between ideas, to imagine.  We are a type of “object” that, from a lot of input, produce a variety of output.  Art allows us to put these natural desires into a more tangible form that can be shared, to use the input we are given to create interesting, boundless output.  We interact with our environment however we can to “execute” the piece.  Through the piece, we create a concept, a reflection of the will of our mind as we were creating the piece.  So in other words, a piece is “Last Word” if manages to have a profound concept–a great use of the will.  And “First Word”: that occurs when the execution and the concept become intertwined, when the will is an exploration of the novel environment.