Evocative sculptures of land and water. Key quote from the article:
Made of cast concrete under laminated clear float glass, Sydney-based artist Ben Young’s creations are really a sight to behold. These amazing sculptures take the form of ocean waves in various landscapes: surrounding a tiny island, breaking on a lonely lighthouse or steep shores, mainly inspired by the artist’s native New Zealand and most specifically Waihi Beach, where he was born. The translucent, aquamarine glass perfectly replicates the water in contrast with the density and dull color of the concrete ocean floor and shores, resulting in simple, minimal, yet impressive sculptures.
But Tintoretto was putting his own spin on it. There’s so much well-known “Last Supper” imagery — the apostles sitting in a row at the table, a serene Jesus in the center. Some 60 years after Leonardo da Vinci painted his famous Last Supper, Tintoretto puts the apostles in a blender and spins them around — and paints their reactions when Christ says one of them will betray him.
“Some of them are practically falling out of their chairs backwards,” Echols says. “Some of them are reaching forward, gesturing towards Christ. The painting is full of action, push, and pull, and drama. And this is typical of Tintoretto: His paintings are always dynamic — full of energy and action.”
So much talent out there which does not participate in the corrupted, virtue signaling, Postmodern absurdity of establishment art.
Key quote from the article:
Tucker was a boxer and construction worker in Warrington. And though few knew it, he was also a prolific, self-taught artist whose paintings depicted a lost, industrial era. Before he died in 2018 at the age of 86, family members discovered a trove of about 400 canvases, the best of which are now on display here.
Tucker spent his days in the front parlor of his home, painting the working-class world he knew: Boisterous pubs where people played piano and sang. Neighborhoods of terraced houses — the English equivalent of row homes — where men played cricket in empty lots against a skyline of belching smokestacks. It was a communal way of life that disappeared with Warrington’s factories.
“Through art mysterious bonds of understanding and of knowledge are established among men.”
An informative piece on the influential artist and educator Robert Henri, the author of the classic work The Art Spirit. Henri articulates how empires follow art, and not vice versa.
“The work of the Brotherhood does not deal with surface events. Institutions on the world surface can rise and become powerful and they can destroy each other. Statesmen can put patch upon patch to make things continue to stand still. No matter what may happen on the surface the Brotherhood goes steadily on. It is the evolution of man. Let the surface destroy itself, the Brotherhood will start it again. For in all cases, no matter how strong the surface institutions become, no matter what laws may be laid down, what patches may be made, all change that is real is due to the Brotherhood.”
It’s an often quoted statistic that the average museum goer only spends 30 seconds looking at each artwork they encounter.
The sad truth is, regarding much of modern and contemporary art, that’s about 27 seconds longer than needed.
The visual arts are in a crisis of relevance, largely due to dire mismanagement by our cultural institutions. Instead of being encouraged as a communion for all, for over a century many art administrators have favored art as a divider, an opportunity to flaunt elitist attitudes. Officially sanctioned art often emphasizes theoretical formal matters and sociological notions designed to exclude, rather than engage, the general public.
The same gurus that managed to marginalize a potent and universal human tradition which is older than agriculture are concerned over their waning influence in the culture. They’ve come up with a great solution: spend MORE time looking at the crappy, off-putting junk they’ve chosen to clutter our museums up with.
This need to reengage is made more urgent than ever due to the massive financial impacts of the Overblown Outbreak, the Woo Hoo Flu. Of course, museum administrators are status seeking and striving players in the New Aristocracy of the Well Connected. They were strident and vocal advocates for fear, shutdowns, and hysteria. Now, after leading the charge for the destruction of society, our cultural institutions are concerned about their fiscal futures. Actions and consequences, how do they work?
So the same places that chased away the populace by presenting pretentious artifice instead of art, and then demanded we all cower under house arrest indefinitely, now want people to turn out, and linger. Globalist mouthpiece the Washington Post reports on the dilemma in their article:
“This year’s Slow Art Day — April 10 — comes at a time when museums find themselves in vastly different circumstances. Some are just reopening. Others have been closed for more than a year. Many are facing unprecedented layoffs or embroiled in controversies over diversity. But across the board, they are grappling with questions about who feels welcome in their spaces….
“At Slow Art Day events, museums generally ask visitors to look at five objects for 10 minutes each — enough time, often, to keep them looking a little longer.”
There is evidence abstract art’s 20th century dominance was a part of a CIA psy op, initially meant to increase America’s international prestige in the fight against international communism. Now that communists are running the Agency, abstract art is yesterday’s news, but it is still revered as a pinnacle of highbrow taste.
Check out the blather of the would-be thought leader who wrote the Post article, waxing poetic about the fine embroidery on the Emperor’s New Clothes:
“After an hour spent in the cosmic, yellow world of Mildred Thompson’s “Magnetic Fields,” I noticed the alarmingly bright canvas subside into alternating tones of restraint and exclamation…”
Nonrepresentational abstract art is a safe space, a compromise for those who wish to appear cultured, while still remaining in compliance with the establishment status quo.
Abstraction underwent a process of gentrification. Once it was the rough slum of the art world. It was considered evidence of the breakdown of the social order captured in random paint. No matter that artists claimed they were seeking to purify their art by removing references to the surrounding world. There was a generalized suspicion abstract artists were covering up a lack of actual artistic skill.
But the elitists seized on the broad dismissal of abstraction as a way to differentiate themselves from the general public they despised. Abstraction furthered their goal of changing art into a rarified status symbol. Removing the demand for recognizable talent from the equation, abstract art enabled an elitist crony system. Art world insiders got to pick and choose which people they acknowledged as “artists”. Abstract art was also in sync with the materialistic Modernist mindset. The rich and powerful moved on abstraction in a big way, renovating the neighborhood, as it were. Savvy upper middle class social climbers followed their lead.
As Modernism died and the high elite moved on to the anti-art of Postmodernism, abstraction remained as a stolid bourgeois default. This is possible because abstract art can succeed in one facet of what art does. It can be used for decoration.
All too often, abstract art fulfills a role much like a throw pillow: merely an accent, just another piece of the décor. Abstract art can be pretty, and even give a nice imitation of intensity, while remaining tame and non-committal.
Abstract art serves as a simulation of art for those who want to create the appearance of having art, without actually partaking in any of its most significant substance. Try to be tasteful, wind up bland.
Real art is many things, but it is not timid.
…Abstraction falls short in art’s most essential function: communication. Abstract artists may claim to pour intensity into undefined colors and shapes, but it’s hard to recognize. One paint smear looks much like another. It’s difficult to discern the intention behind them. It’s challenging and rewarding to convey a sense of the actual into art, however stylized it may be. More importantly, by representing reality, artists tap into the infinitely rich world of symbolism.
A symbol is when something is shown that expands into greater significance which is not literally shown. A symbol demonstrates that life is more than only what appears on the surface. A symbol gives clues towards the underlying mystery of existence…
Humans understand life through stories: patterns of events that illustrate ideas, incarnated by people taking action in a tangible environment. Abstract art misses out on these basic intrigues. Artists and patrons who don’t partake in representational art are losing the most powerful and worthwhile aspects of art. They fail to experience meaning.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying an uncomplicated, pleasant aesthetic experience. But art is capable of delivering so much more. Looking at abstract art, I want to ask: “Is that all you’ve got?” I’d expect a higher standard of performance from human beings, with all of our ingenuity and dexterity.
But the folly of trying to wring significance out of museum-cloistered smears and spatters may soon be a much rarer opportunity. The establishment has new version of empty not-art to virtue signal with: racialist propaganda.
As an example, the Syracuse Everson Museum of Art sold off a notable 1946 work by the notorious king of the abstract expressionists, Jackson Pollock, so they could bankroll diversity impulse buys. I bet the museum’s wiser board members are pissed, but are too afraid to say anything. Everson got $14 million to invest in treasures like these:
Sharif Bey “Protest Shield #2” 2020
Ellen Blalock “Bang Bang You Dead” 2018
These works stick obvious Cultural Marxist tropes where the nuanced and rewarding experience of art should be. They are visual one-liners. Patronizing maneuvers like these will do nothing to address the crisis of relevance in the visual arts. Swapping poorly executed icons of snobbery and obscurity for poorly executed icons of affirmative action and activism is just a new flavor for the same old failures and alienation our cultural institutions have been serving up for decades.
What we are seeing is the death throes of Postmodernism, the exhausted system of manipulation and deceit the elites have been using to rule over us for decades. The great critic Robert Hughes summed up the art experience Postmodernism does not provide in his landmark 1980 series, The Shock of the New. As he purred in his patrician Australian accent:
“In the 45 years I’ve been writing about art, there has been a tragic depreciation in the traditional skills of painting and drawing, the nuts and bolts of the profession…Painting and drawing bring us into a different, a deeper, and more fully realized, relation to the object. We have had a gutful of fast art and fast food. What we need more of is slow art, art that holds time as a vase holds water. Art that grows out of modes of perception and making whose skill and doggedness make you think and feel. Art that isn’t merely sensational, that doesn’t get its message across in ten seconds, that isn’t falsely iconic, that hooks onto something deep running in our natures. In a word, art that is the opposite of mass media.”
As Postmodernism is devoured by its own doublethink and frustration, the replacement philosophy of Remodernism is simmering and growing among the people, looking for new ways to manifest itself. This Invisible War is not over.
By all means, spend time with some real art. You will know the art that resonates with your taste when you see it, and no one can tell you that what you like is wrong. Better than just visiting for ten minutes, fill your home, and your life, with it. My wife and I are both painters, and the walls of our house are covered in original works. It’s like living inside a treasure chest.
Who knows, some probably genuinely love the abstraction and agitprop favored by the self-aggrandizing gentry class. However, probably most people “like” it because they believe it’s what is expected of the social status they aspire to.
I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy abook. Or a painting.
Artist Paul Klee makes the case for an organic approach to art.
Key quote from the article:
“The artist has studied this world of variety and has, we may suppose, unobtrusively found his way in it. His sense of direction has brought order into the passing stream of image and experience. This sense of direction in nature and life, this branching and spreading array, I shall compare with the root of the tree.
“From the root the sap flows to the artist, flows through him, flows to his eye.
“Thus he stands as the trunk of the tree.
“Battered and stirred by the strength of the flow, he guides the vision on into his work.
“As, in full view of the world, the crown of the tree unfolds and spreads in time and space, so with his work.”