Modern Art

Discussing art and media trends and organisations generally

Re: Modern Art

Postby Elliott » 05 Nov 2012, 11:49

I hope the sale goes through and Danny Boyle is left thinking... "hang on... if Muslims don't like art... maybe they don't like my films!?!"
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Andreas » 23 Jan 2013, 23:27

Here is an interesting recent essay by Roger Scruton about the general cultural smog that surrounds us:

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/world-views ... e-culture/

Scruton focuses on the fake quality of art and philosophy currently in style and describes postmodernism as "pre-emptive kitsch." There is an overlap with Dalrymple's ideas about sentimentality (fake emotion):

There is also fake emotion, which comes about when people debase the forms and the language in which true feeling can take root, so that they are no longer fully aware of the difference between the true and the false.


This seems a very accurate assessment of the mental space many people today inhabit. Scruton does not offer much in this essay to suggest why this is happening, other than to state that high culture and tradition are bound to evaporate.

Recently I came across an analysis by a left/liberal writer who correctly recognizes the cultural rot we are experiencing in the United States (Chris Hedges, in Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumh of Spectacle). Hedges identifies the same phenomenon, but tries to understand it in a conventional Marxist way (oppressors vs. oppressed). In a few instances he may be right (for example, when corporate employers use the pseudoscience of "positive psychology" to try to maximize employee performance), but mostly he misses the point. Unlike Scruton or Dalrymple, Hedges fails to see how all of us, regardless of status or wealth, are submerged in a general environment of fakeness and illusion, which I think must be the erosion of our real culture.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Gavin » 18 Jun 2013, 18:28

Check out Tracey Emin's website, everybody - "Emin International", no less! You can buy a work of such artistic genius as the one below from the Professor of Drawing of the Royal Academy (that's Emin herself, lest there be any doubt) for only £300:

Image

It beggars belief, but it's true.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Gavin » 18 Jun 2013, 18:34

Further to my above post, how's this for helping to civilise society, too? You can only have five per person of that one. She signs it too.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Michael » 18 Jun 2013, 19:50

An antidote the poisons of modern art: the winners of the Art Remewal Center's 2012-2013 International Salon Competition (scroll down to see them)
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Gavin » 18 Jun 2013, 20:07

A lot of wonderful artwork there... I love this one.

Image

Fraud Emin is like an artistic pygmy in comparison with these people (I think I can say that without some charge of "racism" since she is white). I expect the average ten year old really could do better than her. Our real problem though is surely with those who run the Royal Academy and similar institutions.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Caleb » 18 Jun 2013, 23:49

Those were quite magnificent. Painting is one thing, but I'm always blown away by sculptures. How do people manage in 3D?!
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Michael » 25 Nov 2013, 22:26

While walking through an exhibit of Modern Art recently I was struck by a peculiar notion: I wondered what the images and objects I was looking at could be used to advertise. It struck me suddenly that what I find objectionable about modern art isn't primarily its tastelessness or attempts to be provocative or shocking, but its claim to be meaningful or profound.

Some explanation: I regularly work in advertising and communications. Often I work with graphic designers and have quite enjoyed their work. They are great people: funny, creative, possessed of omnivorous interests, and totally unpretentious about what they do - they like making things because creation is fun and they enjoy the reactions others have to their work. There are a few "Oh, I'd so much rather be making art" prima donna's among them, but most graphic designers don't feel the need to preface what they create with elaborate explanations or lengthy philosophical discourses ("artists", take note: if I need to read a 500+ word description in order to understand what your pile of tin cans, peanut butter, and pine branches is supposed to represent then you have failed at your task).

It's okay to create things just because they are beautiful, just because they look interesting, just because they make people pay attention.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Andreas » 26 Nov 2013, 00:18

Most art made after World War II leaves me cold. I don't find it so much objectionable as empty, a great emptiness. On my last visit to London in 2005 I spent days at the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Courtauld Institute Gallery, and the Wallace Collection. The only disappointment was the Tate Modern. I don't remember much about it except the view of the city from the cafe and large empty spaces. The works were not arranged in any order that made sense. Some contemporary artists have interesting ideas, but can't create work that provokes a response, emotional or aesthetic.

I think there is hope in the fact that the contemporary art one sees in museums and galleries does not represent everything that is going on out there. There are certainly talented artists, amateurs or outsiders, who draw or paint the "real world" in a humane way. There are many painters and printmakers who post their work on the Flickr site, for instance.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Lindsey » 26 Nov 2013, 16:49

If I get started on modern art there will be steam coming out of ears in no-time. If a piece of modern art had a genuine message, it aught to have taken a long time to produce, yet conveniently most if it is thrown together from cheap materials with a nice description meant to bamboozle the public. They are all in on it of course, it's merely about the profitable.
I visited the Manchester Art Gallery today, and there seemed to be a college visit at the same time. Most were walking round talking and disinterested but it was nice to see several of the group break off alone and really contemplate the work. The modern section was virtually empty though. Perhaps the problem for today's young artists is a lack of modern narrative. I frequently sit at a blank canvas and wonder "what to paint , what to paint!". Religious themes, even among the realists are no longer popular and perhaps less relevant to the artist, and few modern youngsters are familiar with Greek and roman literature, or even significant historical events to put paint to. That's not to say there isn't a wealth of subjects to paint, but true art , I think, must convey something that the viewer resonates with, without words. Either just beauty itself, or a narrative. My favourite piece in the gallery was Prince Arthur and Hubert purely for the perfection and tenderness of Arthurs pleading coupled with the underlying tension in his gripping fingers as he begs hubert not to burn his eyes out as commanded by king John .
Modern art just doesn't have the capacity to convey such depth.
I'm currently painting a nude, which of me is an activity akin to meditation and I doubt modern artists ever experience that either during their 'creative process'
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Jonathan » 28 Nov 2013, 23:03

Modern art.

When I think of Modern Art, I think of an exhibition of Bruce Nauman's that I wandered into innocently enough. I won't post links, to spare you the assault on the senses I experienced. Literally. A room full of television screens with a bald head spinning in circles shouting something incomprehensible. Entrance was free, I promise you. I'm sure it was.

The best treatment I've seen of modern art is by Dave Barry. Best, because he refuses to take it seriously. This is his best article on the subject that I've read.

It's hard to quite put your finger on what it is about modern art that's objectionable. I would say that the defining characteristic of modern art is that each piece seems to be beating you over the head with a foam bat, while shouting "YOU DO NOT DARE TO LAUGH AT THIS". One leaves a gallery of modern art with a sense of having suffered a moral failure, as if one had walked by a small child being bullied and said nothing.

I agree with Lindsey's comments about a lack of modern narrative. I recall a day wandering about the Louvre; the painting which most arrested my attention was The Lictors Bring to Brutus the Bodies of His Sons precisely because I was familiar with the story and its context, and this gave the painting some meaning which others lacked. This also gave me a sense of knowledge lacking within me, which hampered my appreciation of other paintings.

This is, perhaps, another useful distinction between true art and modern art. In modern art, you need two paragraphs which tell you what you should think, and without this, the piece of art is worthless. These two paragraphs are worthless outside the context of the piece. It is entirely concerned with itself, and disconnected from the past.

With true art, you need a few paragraphs of historical context, which lets you think about the work yourself. This knowledge is something every child should learn in school, and be shared by all, and can be useful in many different contexts. It draws its meaning from the past, and can only be understood with reference to it.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Hibernian » 01 Dec 2013, 20:18



The Mona Lisa Curse by Robert Hughes, its a work of art
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Gavin » 22 Dec 2013, 12:36

It just occurred to me that the core difference between modern art and classical art is that the former is egocentric and created as an act of therapy for the individual, whereas the latter tends to be outward-looking and created to a greater degree for the enjoyment of others.
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Gavin » 22 Dec 2013, 12:44

Classical art is almost always much more beautiful than modern art, of course, and even when modern art is nice to look at, its creation has rarely involved the same degree of talent (or any talent at all).
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Re: Modern Art

Postby Kevin R » 23 Dec 2013, 16:59

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