Sunday, August 22, 2010

is art supposed to be onesided?

hello again- sorry it took me so long to get to this,but it always seems that there are so many things to get to-you know? as for the somewhat strange title of this page, it came from someone asking me, after i described some assemblage pieces that i made for an e-class i'm taking,if i thought that by doing so many different types of art that i was diverting myself away from what i should really be spending my time on and by that i think she meant Painting with a capital p. this idea, that painting,oil painting to be specific, is the only really serious art form,and that people who engage in it, can be the only pretenders to the throne, the only "true artists"(take that picasso with your silly pieces of pottery ! ), is to my mind,not uncommon and also to my mind  quite untrue.we must ask the question -WHAT IS ART??, and we must or i must answer that it depends on who asks the question, and  what or why they are asking it for.i looked back in history at some of my favorite artists and also at some more contemporary ones and this is what i found:
"Matisse would focus on developing these means(the practice of returning to and reworking his own art)...working synchronically on many projects, testing ideas in and across various media and finding sometimes wildly divergent ways to pursue his objectives,.....The artist restlessly experimented with various media,borrowing tools and techniques from one for use in another[ he incised into paint for example ,like wax on an etching plate, and scraped it like plaster.He worked and reworked his paintings' surfaces with a near sculptural handling and pushed himself to new levels of physical exertion as he made paintings and sculpture that were monumental in both scale and invention...he identified two canvases, 'Bathers by a River' and 'The Moroccans, as among the most pivotal of his career." from Matisse Radical Invention 1913-1917 by Stephanie D'Allessandro and John Elderfield. Yale University Press.,The Art Institute of Chicago ,2010 .
 and about Picasso "It is of course true that-in his long life Picasso produced a formidable quantity of work,morethan perhaps any artist, and his creative curiousty(LIK E THAT) was boundless.He was active  in painting,sculpture,graphic art and craft,in fact every branch of the visual arts bar architecture.And he remained tirelessly active till the end of his life." Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 edited by Ingo F/Walthur Part 2 The Works,Taschen Press 2007.
 and about de Kooning."Although not so present in his oeuvre as painting and drawing, de Kooning's collages are some of his most assured works in both abstact and figural mode."Willem de Kooning " by Harry F Gaugh Abbeville Press New York,1983. and from de Kooning himself "The first man who began to speak,whoever he was, must have intended it.For surely it is talking that has put 'Art' into painting.Nothing is positive about art except that it is a word...  That's what fascinatesme-to make something I can never be sure of, and no one else can either.I will never know,and no one else will ever know." the first part of the quote is from "What Abstact Art Means to Me" published in The Bulletin of the Museum of Modern Art,1951. the second part of the quote comes from a piece by Harold Rosenberg 'Interview with Willem de Kooning', publisher and date unknown.
 and what of contemporary artists, "in a marked departure from his earlier approach to painting Michael Haas has turned  pigments on paper into 3D figures.(He)...densely applied pastel, ink and charcoal....onto paper which he then distressed,tore, twisted and layered to form much sculpted as painted, these 30 recent artworks boldly claimed their space". by Mary Krienke Artnews Summer 2009.
and in another more recent exhibit, "This selection of 36 paintings,drawings, collages and reliefs dated from 1965-2007, provide an excellent overview of the work of 70 year otl Pierre Buraglio." His works range from mixed media paintings to collages,assemblage/sculptures that "All demonstrate the artist's relentless need to keep his practice fresh." from a review by Michael Duncan Art in America, May 2010.
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 so what have i accomplished in this long rambling blog entry. to ask some questions and answer others,always,always from my point of view at any particular point in time .i like de Kooning's definition of art-that it is a word.i like Picasso's creative curiousty, Matisse's explorations, our more contemporary experimentation.i believe that each artist's journey is a personal one, and for me all my exporations and experimentations and creative curiousties have strengthed rather than weakened my work. i look with real excitement and wonder towards what i will do next and what else i will experience on my journey and hope that i remain like Picasso tirelessly active till the ver end of my life.What do you think ? i'd love to know.

1 comment:

  1. This post (along with the "real artists" post) really spoke to me.

    I have created (and continue to create) in many different mediums... I feel it keeps me fresh.

    It has always bothered me that art is broken down into 2 camps ("real art" and "craft") It is that kind of thinking that makes me feel like I don't fit anywhere. I went to art school, but I like to play with glitter, I owned a mural/decorative painting company but I also paint on canvas and sculpt with clay. Even though I have supported myself with my creative endeavors, I still sometimes hesitate when I call myself an artist.

    Thank you for this...
    Art is more than just oil painting!