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  #76  
Old 05-23-2009, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

That, and the whole thing about not every partial ordering being a total ordering...
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  #77  
Old 05-23-2009, 11:38 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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That, and the whole thing about not every partial ordering being a total ordering...
Don't be silly, Sov's into rape fantasies and wants nothing to do with your axiom of choice.
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  #78  
Old 05-23-2009, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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Originally Posted by fragment View Post
After that ready-mades became a bit of a style by themselves. At worst it can be lazy artwank, but at best I think being forced to look at everyday objects in a gallery context can encourage you to appreciate aesthetic qualities in your life outside of galleries. In some ways, it gets you thinking a bit like an artist; instead of just seeing a table with a bowl of fruit and a pack of cigarettes on it, an artist can see a potential work of art, and be thinking about how they are arranged spatially, the ways the colours contrast, the ways the shadows fall. Even if you can't paint worth a damn (like me), you can look at things in that way.
I think this is a good way of putting it.

Here is Duchamps’ “ready-made” urinal, which he titled “The Fountain” and signed R. Mutt:



Here is a quote from an essay about the work:

Quote:
Whether Mr Mutt made the fountain with his own hands or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.
In other words, art is contextualized. We call it “art” in a certain context. This was a new point of view at the time, and it was part of an ongoing effort to dismantle the definition of art that held sway in the Western world. A lot of what we call modern art should be understood in a historical context. It was a reaction against rigid definitions of what is art and what it isn’t, and modernism’s antecedents go back at least to impressionism, which itself was a reaction against academic classicism in painting.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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Originally Posted by Sovereign View Post

Stuff here.
Thanks for your input.

Retard.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Mondrian’s “descent” ( I prefer ascent) into non-representationalism is chronicled below. He calls his later works “abstractions” though I argue that since all art, including “realistic” art, is necessarily abstract — a composition of lines, forms and colors on a two-dimensional surface — then “non-representational” is a better term for art that does not, or does not obviously, attempt to depict some person or object in the external world. But you can see that there is a tension here, and that the non-representational works are derivations of the representational ones, most obviously in the self-portrait. What Mondrian is showing with these works, and he is just following a similar path already trodden by Cezanne, is that the power of a piece of art can be “abstracted out of” its “realistic” roots and reduced to marks on a canvass, and it is the marks themselves, not necessarily what the marks depict, that provides the power to a work.






















The above is a sampling, in chronological order. Are the later, non-representational works harder or easer to create than the more conventional or realistic works? Harder, in my opinion, undercutting the oft-heard claim that it’s somehow “easier” to create non-representational work, than to do realistic work. Ultimately the later works become pure visual invention, and if you look at them closely, you see how much detail and subtlety they contain to make them work as they do.
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  #81  
Old 05-23-2009, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

I'll be honest. I don't like it. I find the non-representational stuff to be bland and boring. I'm not gonna make any statements about difficulty or imagination though, and just stick with what I know. I don't like it. If someone else wants to shell out millions (or even thousands) for a painting of straight lines and colored squares, more power to them, and more power to the artist.
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  #82  
Old 05-23-2009, 07:55 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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Originally Posted by Kael View Post
I'll be honest. I don't like it. I find the non-representational stuff to be bland and boring. I'm not gonna make any statements about difficulty or imagination though, and just stick with what I know. I don't like it. If someone else wants to shell out millions (or even thousands) for a painting of straight lines and colored squares, more power to them, and more power to the artist.
You really find these bland and boring? Note, too, that only the last two examples consist solely of straight lines and square shapes; the others have curves built into them. But even the last two, are really beautiful to me. They have the quality of stained-glass windows, which he achieved with the heavy black lines. But look also at all the variation that goes into them. In the final example, no two of these square shapes are exactly alike, and the colors of ochre, pale blue and green all have a lot of variation in them and are completely harmonious.

I find it to be beautiful. Maybe you should give it another, closer look. Just a suggestion. :yup:

ETA: the other thing here is this, and I think it's really important. I think it's really, really a bad thing that people fixate on the amount of money that is paid for paintings like these. This is the American disease, I'm afraid. We're a people that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. We're a bloody business culture, and always have been.

Right away we look at paintings like these and says, "Oh, well, if someone wants to shell out x dollars for that ..." But for God's sake, "value" does not equal "price." A painting's aesthetic value has nothing to do with its status as an investment commodity. But in America we make a commodity of everything. Commodity fetishism.
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  #83  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:44 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

The hostility is the part I really don't get.

There are any number of things that I lack appreciation for. I like wine OK sometimes, but I'm not an enthusiast by any stretch. I don't really appreciate the nuances, and I realize this. I'm OK with a glass or two of $10 a bottle stuff every once in a while.

I realize this is just something I don't get, though. So while I can't at all relate to the notion of a wine having overtones of Easter lillies and black pepper or whatever, I don't assume that everyone who does pick up on those nuances is full of shit, and I don't go around informing people that they're paying exhorbitant amounts of money on rotten grape juice. And I don't expect anyone to be all that interested in my opinions on wine, either. I recognize that any opinions I do have are uninformed and probably not interesting or enlightening to wine collectors or enthusiasts. I might recommend something I like for other, similarly unschooled and infrequent wine drinkers like me, but that's about it.

I assume that the vast majority of wine enthusiasts just have a nuanced appreciation for these things that I am lacking. Just because I can't pick up on the things I see them talk about doesn't mean it's bullshit. I honestly do consider this my loss. (Not one I'm worried about, obviously, but it is a personal deficit all the same.)

Why the outrage? Is it that people assume that everything they don't understand is some kind of hoax? Is it that people think there's something wrong with spending time and money on luxuries?

If you don't understand a subject and don't have an interest in understanding it, what compels you to even have an opinion on it in the first place, much less spend time articulating and defending that opinion?
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  #84  
Old 05-23-2009, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

I like a few of the earlier ones a bit more, but the last two do nothing for me. When I focus on what people pay for that and similar artwork, it's because to me they hold no value, so the only thing there is price. Obviously I recognize their intrinsic value as artistic expression, but they hold nothing for me personally. It's a matter of preference, however, and I know better than to project my personal artistic tastes onto society at large.
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  #85  
Old 05-23-2009, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

I don't think the wine analogy is that good. Where it breaks down is that it is quite possible to fake these works of art - the experts are fooled on occasion and, of course, we only find out on those occasions when they find out that they've been fooled. How many fakes are hanging in collections and galleries that have gone undetected (so far)?

With wine it is different. If someone found a way of faking an expensive wines by mixing different quantities of fruits, alcohol, colours and flavourings, in such a way that it was undetectable to experts then that would be become an acceptable way of producing wine (assuming it was cheaper than the traditional method).
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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Where it breaks down is that it is quite possible to fake these works of art - the experts are fooled on occasion and, of course, we only find out on those occasions when they find out that they've been fooled. How many fakes are hanging in collections and galleries that have gone undetected (so far)?
Would pretentious collectors of non-representational art still pay good money for the pieces if they knew these had actually been produced by chimpanzees? Oh, wait...

"Congo (1954–1964) was a chimpanzee who learned how to draw and paint. Zoologist and surrealist painter Desmond Morris first observed his abilities when the chimp was offered a pencil and paper at two years of age. By the age of four, Congo had made 400 drawings and paintings. His style has been described as 'lyrical abstract impressionism'."

Congo (chimpanzee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

"Three paintings by a chimpanzee named Congo sold at auction in London Monday for about $25,000 -- after having been expected to fetch less than $2,000. The winning bidder was Howard Hong of Pasadena, Calif.

No Chump Change for Chimp Art : NPR

Here's one of those three paintings:


One of Congo's paintings currently available for purchase:



Title: Painting with bold circular loop on red paper
Work date: 1958
Price: £4,000
The style is claimed by the Mayor Gallery to be "Modernism (ca. 1880-1945)"

You know, I'd rather have these than many non-representational works by human artists. Think of all the fun that could be had showing these off to certain would-be sophisticates and, after enough fawning on their part, mentioning that the artist is a chimp. They just might not all be as happy about it as Howard Hong.

And some of this chimp's works are actually nicer to look at than are many non-representational works by humans... :blush:


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  #87  
Old 05-23-2009, 09:37 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

I didn't intend the wine thing as an analogy in that sense. I'm talking about the skepticism about the value of non-representational art.

Authentication is different. High value paintings are, in some way, historical artifacts, and people sometimes manage to fool experts with well-done forgeries. Besides, forgery is in no way exclusive to non-representational art. There are about a jillion fake Mona Lisas out there. There are also fakes of pretty much any kind of historical artifact that people will pay significant amounts of money for, from fossils to burial shrouds.
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  #88  
Old 05-23-2009, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Actually, on the subjects of forgeries, there was a story several years ago you might remember where a physicist discovered some unique fractal patterns and progressions over time in Jackson Pollock's paintings. As I remember it, he used this formula to evaluate several similar style paintings and replicas, and later to evaluate some recently discovered paintings that some thought might be previously unknown Pollocks. The known fakes didn't fit the pattern, but the unknown ones did. There was a great hubbub and hullabaloo about what something like this could mean.

If Pollock's work could be authenticated with this formula, would they also be replicable? Did the fractal patterns prove that Pollock's work did have some kind of quantifiable quality that gave it objective value? Did it at least put to rest the idea that modern art was just random bullshit? Would Pollock prove that fractals are art? Would fractals prove that Pollocks weren't?
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  #89  
Old 05-24-2009, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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I like these two particularly - they work especially well together.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

People don’t get modern art for a variety of reasons.

Many people are sincerely puzzled as to why non-representational art is meaningful. Such people, having been educated to the idea that “true art” consists in realistic rendering of objects, places and people in the external world, are put off by the departure of non-representational artworks from the norm with which they have been inculcated.

But such people are reachable; they are educable. Their bafflement is sincere, and generally, such people are open to the idea that they may lack knowledge about modern art, and they are open to learning more about it.

A useful analogy here is mathematics. Goliath may attest to the notion that math is aesthetic. But the mathematical form of art is closed off to those who haven’t been educated about math. But people who are educable, who are sincerely open to learning, can learn about math and discover the aesthetic experience that it affords.

Other people are aggressively ignorant and not open to education. These people, typically, are narcissistic know-it-alls. They are bullies, blockheads and blowhards. They believe that they already possess all knowledge, and that anything that they don’t already know about is not worth knowing. Very often such people are in the thrall of bizarre, narcissistic fantasies — for instance, they might believe (as a purely hypothetical example) that they are “special” and that their special nature entitles them to rape and enslave girls.

With good reason, we call such people “retards.”

When it comes to modern art, retards will rely on a few stereotypical arguments. One such argument is that anyone who writes approvingly about modern art is “pretentious.” This stands to reason, if you think about it. After all, retards are know-it-alls. They think that they know everything, and that everything that they do not know, is not worth knowing. Hence it follows, from their own narcissistic point of view, that anyone who talks about something outside their (limited) knowledge base is only “pretending” to knowledge, and hence is pretentious.

Retards who don’t know anything about modern art will Google (if they actually have mastered search engines) information that they think will support their viewpoint. They may, for example, discover that chimpanzees paint pictures. Had they bothered to Google further, they would discover that
Oh, this is surprising! Chimps and elephants paint pictures! Chimps also talk to other chimps, and elephants talk to other elephants. Even ants talk to one another. Probably very few chimps, elephants or ants dream of raping and enslaving their con-specifics, but then, very few, if any, chimps, elephants or ants are retards.

In a future post I’ll talk about the paintings of chimps, elephants, Mondrian and Picasso.
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  #91  
Old 05-24-2009, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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One such argument is that anyone who writes approvingly about modern art is "pretentious."
Dude, have you ever read ARTFORUM?
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:25 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Well, as much as I'm annoyed by know-it-alls (OTHER know-it-alls--I don't count), I wouldn't lump them in with a worthless sociopath. The person you're talking about is not retarded or developmentally delayed, but actually subhuman, IMO, entirely lacking some essential qualities of humanity. Troll or sincere, the person you're discussing is a piece of shit and doesn't really merit much consideration beyond normal law enforcement measures and maybe a discussion about preventative measures that could be taken in the future.

There are, however, actual full-fledged, decent, intelligent human beings who hold similar sentiments. Maybe it really is that ignorance-arrogance combo, because I think everyone is susceptible to that in some area or another.

I guess I just want someone to tell me outright whether they honestly believe that everyone who claims to appreciate non-representational art is full of shit, either consciously or no. Because it's a pretty clear implication.

And if that isn't what they mean, what?
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  #93  
Old 05-24-2009, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Myself, I like non-representational art. I just don't think it's worth $9 million.

I don't think any art is worth that much - but the shock is greater when the artwork looks like something I could have made myself.

So I know I don't have the talent to make most kinds of paintings, but the simplest Mondrian and certainly the urinal I would be able to do.

I realise that it's the whole rarity and collection/investment thing that pushes the prices sky high - and it does that for other items too, that we don't normally consider as works of art, such as postage stamps.

When living artists are paid high prices for things that look easy to make, such as piles of bricks, it seems very unfair - there seem to be much more talented artisans out there using great skill to produce items of great beauty, but they only get paid a regular wage.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Art is often concept, not execution. Anyone would have the ability, given the idea, to sign a urinal and send it to an art show. So why didn't anyone do it until that one guy thought of it?
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:34 AM
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... there seem to be much more talented artisans out there using great skill to produce items of great beauty, but they only get paid a regular wage.
And really, it's rare for most artists* to be paid any regular wage on a regular basis for doing art.




*I'm not talking about commercial artists.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:45 AM
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Yes, the value of art lies (ideally) in an artist's abilities. That's why the art of modernism is so highly valued: It displays so much ability.
Plus, a whole fuckin' lot of disabilities.
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Old 05-25-2009, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceptimus View Post
... there seem to be much more talented artisans out there using great skill to produce items of great beauty, but they only get paid a regular wage.
And really, it's rare for most artists* to be paid any regular wage on a regular basis for doing art.




*I'm not talking about commercial artists.
And...If anybody makes money by doing 'art', those doing the 'real art' refer to them as 'artisans'. And the word is said with a sneer.

Wander the halls of the Hermitage and the guides will repeatedly point you towards the 'masterpieces' of Rembrandt and other 'name' artists, of which, if you listen carefully, the Russians will tell you that they have the second best collection in the world of practically every major artist.

But...If you notice the sheer beauty of the building itself....The painted walls....the inlaid stone floors...the ornate gilded woodwork. It's absolutely dumbfounding. I had to ask, "Who was this artist? Or, that one? The artists who did the floors, walls, ceilings, alcoves?"

The answer rang back..."Huh? Nobody important. Just artisan workers."

Then, the guide would launch into paeans over some 'big name' in European art circles....maybe the Impressionists...which, they, of course, have "the second largest collection outside of France."

In my opinion, the REAL work of art was the building in which a lot of other 'artists' had their work hanging. Artists whose quality of work fared poorly in comparison....including that depressing brooding crap that Rembrandt pumped out and some critic decided was "good" art.

:facepalm:
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Old 05-25-2009, 04:10 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Yep, that depressing, brooding crap from Rembrandt...

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Old 05-25-2009, 04:46 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

Yep...He's about to hand his urine sample to the nurse.

Really...Despite the topic, it still looks dreary to me. And, a whole lot shittier than any public part of the Hermitage you might want to hang it.

I think Rembrandt must have gotten a real discount on blacks and browns.

And...note here...I have chosen the non-representational (in this case, architectual) art as my preference. I just happen to think that there is a lot of 'art' out there which has been incorporated into our lives. I'm still not sure why this person or that person is selected out as being the exemplar...as, usually, as I understand it, there are multiple artists working with the same 'style'. How many artists, of just as much expertise as the famous ones, slipped into obscurity because they didn't happen to catch the eye of some rich bastard with a big mouth who pimped for them.

Just out of interest, are there many of the 'great artists' who come from the ranks of the 'poor', the 'working classes', or others who didn't have plenty of ability to engage in unproductive (in the immediate, hand to mouth sense) artistic endeavors...or, did they all become 'artisans'?
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Old 05-25-2009, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Modern art ... again

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Originally Posted by davidm View Post
A useful analogy here is mathematics. Goliath may attest to the notion that math is aesthetic.
To a certain extent, yes.

Quote:
But the mathematical form of art is closed off to those who haven’t been educated about math.
True enough. I've had a few people try to explain the value in non-representational art to me, but I simply don't get it. All that I see in the painting in the OP is "Oooh! Looky, here's some rectangles!" :shrug: So what? Any diagram in The Elements is far more pleasing to me than any piece of non-representational "art." At least the diagrams are illustrating an idea.
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