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Thread: old versus new art

  1. #1
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Lightbulb old versus new art

    art has evolved through time and undergone changes to suit the present time enclosure,
    what significant changes has it occurred?
    for example
    has contemporary art benefited or moved away from classic art?
    Last edited by cacian; 05-07-2015 at 05:16 AM.
    it may never try
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  2. #2
    Registered User Iain Sparrow's Avatar
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    I think one has to distinguish between Fine Art, and Commercial Art.
    Artists are prisoners of their time, like writers they respond to, and interpret the world around them. Take Pablo Picasso; he was deeply inspired by the blossoming science of the day, Einstein's Theory of Relativity and how it relates to perspective and the observer. Cubism was his response to the added dimension of Time... instead of extending perspective, he flattened it. Really, that was simply genius. That said, Picasso was classically trained. There will always be a place for classical art and it will continue on as the foundation of Art.

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    Cacian,

    I wrote a quick response poem about whether or not it's obvious whether artists get better or worse with age; you never responded. I'm curious to see what you think:

    The obvious is like mist in the air
    winsome, elusive, and yet always there.
    Marble and ether, it whispers and holds;
    languid yet strident, its presence unfolds.
    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;
    the artist, its gallant and sometimes its foe.
    The blessed move sweetly into evening's breath;
    the cursed rage fitful into fickle death.

    Have at it.

  4. #4
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I think the major change has been technological and we haven't finished taking advantages of the things learned there.

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    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Cacian, your question has filled entire volumes of Art History. What happened? Modernism.

    In terms of the visual arts Modernism was/is a paradigm shift as big as that of the Renaissance. Western Art from the time of the Late Gothic/Renaissance through Impressionism was primarily concerned with the representation or illusion of visual reality. Art was based upon the direct observation of the visual world. This was even true of wholly fictive or fantastic narratives such as this painting by Rubens:



    Although the scene as a whole was invented, the various elements (the landscape, the figures, etc...) were based upon studies from life, and the intention was to create an illusion of visual reality. Art... especially painting... was imagined as a window upon visual reality.

    Modernism slowly rejected this concept of what painting was. The Post-Impressionists (Van Gogh, Gauguin, etc...) built upon the heightened color of Impressionism... but rejected the idea of art as still based primarily upon the visual observation of nature and the illusion of the recreation of the same. Some artists, such as Van Gogh and the later German Expressionists largely looked upon art as a means of conveying emotion or feeling. They rejected the illusion of reality and embraced artificial color and distortions of form, space, and color.

    The Post-Impressionist, Maurice Denis, famously defined the philosophy of Modernism: "Remember that a painting - before it is a battle horse, a nude model, or some anecdote - is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order."

    Modernism stressed the artifice of art and the idea that a painting was an object with its own internal logic and structure rather than an illusion of nature.

    Modernism opened up the door to the appreciation of a great array of art long ignored or rejected as "primitive": the art of the Byzantine and Middle Ages, the art of Africa, Pre-Colombian America, and the Pacific Islands, the art of India, the Middle-East, and Asia, folk art, the art of the untrained and the mentally ill ("outsider art"), even the art of children. It also led to a blurring of the boundaries between "Fine Art" and commercial and/or popular art.

    The 20th century saw a continual development of Modernism. The Fauvists explored the extremes of artificial color. The Cubists explored distortions and dissections of time, space, and form. Futurism explored the element of motion. The Dutch and Russian Modernists took the logical jump to absolute abstraction. The American Abstract Expressionists took abstraction to the grandiose scale of European Baroque painting and attempted to convey feelings through little more than color and mark-making. Duchamp and his followers pushed for the negation of the work of art as an object (or image) reducing it the an idea or concept (Conceptual Art).

    By the 1960s the dominant strains of Modernism began to splinter. On one hand it became obvious that while Modernism opened up art in the West to a vast array of new possibilities, they often did so while rejecting the notion that the Post-Renaissance idea of art as an illusion of visual reality was still a viable option. The Pop Artists and new "Realists" (such as Chuck Close, Philip Pearlstein, Andrew Wyeth, etc... made it clear that "realism" in art was not dead. The Pop Artists also shattered the separation between "High" and "Low" art. While early Modernists such as Picasso, Beckmann, and the Abstract Expressionists were often fascinated with popular music (jazz) and popular imagery seen in photography, film, and advertising, the Pop Artists such as Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, etc... had been weaned on popular culture: TV, Films, cartoons, comic books, jazz, rock music, illustrations, and advertising imagery.

    For several decades now we have been witness to an era devoid of any dominant artistic style or philosophy. The art world is incredibly diverse and pluralistic. Artists are essentially free to look at the whole of art history as a vast smorgasbord of styles and imagery from which to pick and choose. Some have attempted to define this era as "Post-Modern", but in reality Modernist ideas and forms remain as valid and influential as ever, while attempts to define just what "Post Modern" art is and how it clearly differs from Modernism have repeatedly fallen short.

    If there is any dominant voice, it is simply that of money. The so-called "high-end" market or "art world" largely consists of a handful of super-wealthy and powerful art dealers and a couple thousand mega-wealthy collectors (the 1%) and the artists they champion. There is often little or no common-thread in the work outside the fact that it is often rapidly fabricated (frequently with the help of numerous skilled craftsmen/assistants) in order to feed the market... in a manner not unlike that of the fashion industry (which the art market greatly embraces).

    But there are numerous artists turning out art of real merit outside of this market. It has been repeatedly suggested that there no longer is a single dominant monolithic "Art World" but rather dozens of smaller "art worlds" each with its own standards, values, and goals. There is a very vocal group of New Academics who champion realistic art painted from observation after the manner of the 19th century academicians. As art schools and art programs in universities increase in cost while offering very little in terms of marketable skills, many are turning to the system of apprenticeships and ateliers... studying under "masters" who make a real living from art. Pop Art remains influential as subsequent generations grow up under the pervasive influence of popular culture. Then there are artists known loosely as "New Old Masters" and of course there continue to be abstract artists and conceptual artists and Neo-Expressionists and Neo-Impressionists.

    Has Art benefited from the developments of Modernism? That is an endless debate. Is there an alternative? We live in a world that looks incredibly different from that of our grandparents... let alone that of 100, 200, or 500 years ago. How can we imagine that art wouldn't change?
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  6. #6
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike Bishop View Post
    Cacian,

    I wrote a quick response poem about whether or not it's obvious whether artists get better or worse with age; you never responded. I'm curious to see what you think:

    The obvious is like mist in the air
    winsome, elusive, and yet always there.
    Marble and ether, it whispers and holds;
    languid yet strident, its presence unfolds.
    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;
    the artist, its gallant and sometimes its foe.
    The blessed move sweetly into evening's breath;
    the cursed rage fitful into fickle death.

    Have at it.
    i think it quite impressive
    i like the rhymes for sure

    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;

    I am not sure what this mean??

    Stlukes is it possible to say that modern art could eventually be for those who can afford it and therefore the reflection is on the money.
    wealth influences art.
    poverty does not??
    Although the scene as a whole was invented, the various elements (the landscape, the figures, etc...) were based upon studies from life, and the intention was to create an illusion of visual reality. Art... especially painting... was imagined as a window upon visual reality.
    i do not understand
    why imagined?
    and
    could the reverse be true?
    in other words a different landscape setting but the scene is as real as it gets?
    landscape reinvented but the characters to be a true reflection of us?


    because whilst nudity is only plausible in certain situations
    ie specific to personal activities
    this visual reality in this Rubens painting could not be an illusion either because it is already present in real life.
    the scene is not real either because it is not something people do on a daily basis gather in this way.
    so what the other meaning of this painting?

    what i am trying to say is that there is a context for everything even for a painting depicting a scene
    in this nudity is out of context and therefore the visual does not make sense.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    i think it quite impressive
    i like the rhymes for sure

    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;

    I am not sure what this mean??
    A result of the truth of Obvious' nature is the wayward aspect of Time's flow.

    A truth resulting from

  8. #8
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike Bishop View Post
    A result of the truth of Obvious' nature is the wayward aspect of Time's flow.

    A truth resulting from
    i am not aware of
    Obvious nature
    why capital O
    and T in time?
    is that in a religious reference?

    the poem is rather mystical to me i am not sure i quite get it :0
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    Here's my poem again, where I address the nature of "obvious" in relation to artists getting better or worse with time. Read it again and be specific in what you don't get:

    The obvious is like mist in the air
    winsome, elusive, and yet always there.
    Marble and ether, it whispers and holds;
    languid yet strident, its presence unfolds.
    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;
    the artist, its gallant and sometimes its foe.
    The blessed move sweetly into evening's breath;
    the cursed rage fitful into fickle death.


    P.s. I'm glad it seemed "mystical" to you; that's kind of what I was going for.

  10. #10
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Stlukes is it possible to say that modern art could eventually be for those who can afford it and therefore the reflection is on the money.
    wealth influences art.
    poverty does not??


    Art follows money. It is far easier to support the arts when a given culture has the luxury of excess wealth. Art education, the materials, etc... all cost money.

    Certainly poverty can influence the art of a given culture... or an individual artist who is struggling to make enough to keep a roof over his/her head and enough to eat.



    i do not understand
    why imagined?


    Obviously, the gathering of nude goddesses (The Judgment of Paris) is not something the artist actually saw... nor did he likely stage such a grouping of nudes outdoors and paint the entire scene from life.

    and
    could the reverse be true?
    in other words a different landscape setting but the scene is as real as it gets?
    landscape reinvented but the characters to be a true reflection of us?


    Certainly an artist might paint the figures from life while wholly inventing the landscape or background.



    Gustav Klimt's famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is an example of such. The artist clearly painted the sitter from life, while the decorative background is wholly invented.

    Rubens' approach is different. He begins with a narrative that he wishes to "illustrate". He constructs a believable scene building upon life drawings of figures, landscape, and other elements.

    In this painting, Daniel in the Lion's Den...



    ... the artist employs a model assuming a penitent/praying pose.



    The multitude of lions are based upon sketches made from life from a zoo or circus. In all likelihood there were but 2 lions (i male and one female).







    The artist pieces these various elements together like a collage or jigsaw puzzle... in a manner not unlike that of the modern film maker employing multiple computer generated images and other special effects. Rubens was a master of illusion, creating a scene that appears realistic but which never existed as such.
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  11. #11
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pike Bishop View Post
    Here's my poem again, where I address the nature of "obvious" in relation to artists getting better or worse with time. Read it again and be specific in what you don't get:

    The obvious is like mist in the air
    winsome, elusive, and yet always there.
    Marble and ether, it whispers and holds;
    languid yet strident, its presence unfolds.
    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;
    the artist, its gallant and sometimes its foe.
    The blessed move sweetly into evening's breath;
    the cursed rage fitful into fickle death.


    P.s. I'm glad it seemed "mystical" to you; that's kind of what I was going for.
    hi Pike Bishop
    what i do not get is the reference to the child
    in reference with time
    then the last two lines are not very clear.

    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Stlukes is it possible to say that modern art could eventually be for those who can afford it and therefore the reflection is on the money.
    wealth influences art.
    poverty does not??


    Art follows money. It is far easier to support the arts when a given culture has the luxury of excess wealth. Art education, the materials, etc... all cost money.

    Certainly poverty can influence the art of a given culture... or an individual artist who is struggling to make enough to keep a roof over his/her head and enough to eat.



    i do not understand
    why imagined?


    Obviously, the gathering of nude goddesses (The Judgment of Paris) is not something the artist actually saw... nor did he likely stage such a grouping of nudes outdoors and paint the entire scene from life.

    and
    could the reverse be true?
    in other words a different landscape setting but the scene is as real as it gets?
    landscape reinvented but the characters to be a true reflection of us?


    Certainly an artist might paint the figures from life while wholly inventing the landscape or background.



    Gustav Klimt's famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is an example of such. The artist clearly painted the sitter from life, while the decorative background is wholly invented.

    Rubens' approach is different. He begins with a narrative that he wishes to "illustrate". He constructs a believable scene building upon life drawings of figures, landscape, and other elements.

    In this painting, Daniel in the Lion's Den...



    ... the artist employs a model assuming a penitent/praying pose.



    The multitude of lions are based upon sketches made from life from a zoo or circus. In all likelihood there were but 2 lions (i male and one female).







    The artist pieces these various elements together like a collage or jigsaw puzzle... in a manner not unlike that of the modern film maker employing multiple computer generated images and other special effects. Rubens was a master of illusion, creating a scene that appears realistic but which never existed as such.
    .. the artist employs a model assuming a penitent/praying pose.

    what is the meaning of this painting ie
    a praying pose amongst a den of lions?
    how does one interpret it for example/

    I dont understand Rubens idea of illusion within reality what is the purpose of that?
    if art that we see today in such paintings does not exist then how does one relate them?
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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    Quote Originally Posted by cacian View Post
    hi Pike Bishop
    what i do not get is the reference to the child
    in reference with time
    then the last two lines are not very clear.
    I already explained for you the child's relation to time:

    "A result of the truth of Obvious' nature is the wayward aspect of Time's flow."

    The last two lines were already clear; with this explanation, they should be very clear for you. Here is the poem again:

    The obvious is like mist in the air
    winsome, elusive, and yet always there.
    Marble and ether, it whispers and holds;
    languid yet strident, its presence unfolds.
    A child of its truth is time's wayward flow;
    the artist, its gallant and sometimes its foe.
    The blessed move sweetly into evening's breath;
    the cursed rage fitful into fickle death.


    So, please explain how exactly are the last two lines not clear from you. You are aware just saying something isn't clear doesn't make it so.

  13. #13
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    what is the meaning of this painting ie
    a praying pose amongst a den of lions?
    how does one interpret it for example/


    The narrative illustrated in this painting is that of the Biblical narrative of Daniel and the Lions' Den found in the sixth chapter of the Book of Daniel in the Hebrew Bible.

    Interpretation or "meaning" in art is constructed by the viewer and built upon prior knowledge, experience, etc... In other words, you cannot limit a painting (or any work of art for that matter) to a simple dictionary definition. Looking at Rubens' Daniel in the Lion's Den my interpretation... or rather "experience" is constructed of my prior knowledge of the Biblical narrative, of Art History, of what I know of Rubens, of a visceral response to the abstract formal elements of color, scale, line, etc..., of a visceral response to the image of a nearly nude figure surrounded by lions, and much more.

    I dont understand Rubens idea of illusion within reality what is the purpose of that?
    if art that we see today in such paintings does not exist then how does one relate them?


    I would hope you understand the concept of "fiction" within literature. A work of fiction employs many elements (some drawn from the author's real experiences) that create the illusion of "reality"... even if the narrative is purely fictional or something never directly experienced by the author.
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  14. #14
    Alea iacta est. mortalterror's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    While early Modernists such as Picasso, Beckmann, and the Abstract Expressionists were often fascinated with popular music (jazz) and popular imagery seen in photography, film, and advertising, the Pop Artists such as Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann, etc... had been weaned on popular culture: TV, Films, cartoons, comic books, jazz, rock music, illustrations, and advertising imagery.
    I normally don't care for pop art, but something about Tom Wesselmann's painting speaks to me. I can't quite put my finger on it.
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    Registered User fajfall's Avatar
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    Garbage finds sanctuary in modern art but not in classical art. Eg. You could literally put the garbage presently residing in your trash can on the floor of a modern art museum and some people will find that to be a real insightful work of art.

    I once sardonically jested that I could just paint a canvas white and say it's a completed artwork that belongs in a modern art gallery. Later I actually saw it be done.

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