DAILY ART FIX: William Blake’s famous flop of an exhibition and the critic who described him as ‘an unfortunate lunatic’

Art world links which caught my eye…

William Blake “The Spiritual Form of Nelson Guiding Leviathan”

Part of the legacy of visionary artist William Blake (November 28, 1757 – August 12, 1827) acts as a warning. It demonstrates how innovative artistic genius can go unrecognized by the status quo. A new book William Blake vs the World, explores how Blake was ignored and even abused by his contemporaries, such as the time when he dared to set up his own 19th century pop up gallery over his brother’s haberdashery. A critic named Robert Hunter created his own terrible legacy, and will forever be remembered as one who failed to appreciate Blake’s achievements in real time.

For the rest of the article Hunt delights in being vicious, patronising and cruel. He seems intent on putting this working- class creator in his place. It is hard not to see him as one of the uninspired “Hirelings in the Camp, the Court, & the University” that Blake attacks in the preface to Milton. “The poor man fancies himself a great master”, Hunt wrote, “and has painted a few wretched pictures, some of which are unintelligible allegory, others an attempt at sober character by caricature representation, and the whole ‘blotted and blurred,’ and very badly drawn. These he calls an Exhibition, of which he has published a Catalogue, or rather a farrago of nonsense, unintelligibleness, and egregious vanity, the wild effusions of a distempered brain.”

William Blake “The Spiritual Form of Pitt Guiding Behemoth”

Read the full article here: ART NEWSPAPER – William Blake’s famous flop of an exhibition and the critic who described him as ‘an unfortunate lunatic’

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Halloween Art Throughout History

Art world links which caught my eye…

11.jpg

Emil Nolde “Mask Still Life III”

Halloween makes for dramatic and dark artistic content.

This article gathers 20 examples ranging from fun to monstrous.

9.jpg

William Blake “The Ghost of a Flea”

Read the full article here: CORRINEF.COM – Halloween Art Throughout History

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Empire Follows Art

This month, I became a contributor to The Masculinist, a website exploring men, faith, and culture.

From August 3, 2021: Empire Follows Art

William Blake “Job’s Evil Dream”

William Blake “Job’s Evil Dream” Photograph: [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons

If anyone had been paying attention to how badly elitist mismanagement was damaging art for the last hundred years or so, we might have been better prepared to counter all the other forms of carnage they are now unleashing. What they did to the art world has become their default operating system across the board.

“Empire follows art and not vice versa,” warned the great English artist William Blake. Think of empire in this context not as a geographical entity, but more as the various ideas and modes unified under a belief system, so ingrained we largely aren’t even aware of it.

Read the whole article here: THE MASCULINIST – Empire Follows Art

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAIL ART FIX: William Blake: The greatest visionary in 200 years

Art world links which caught my eye…

Pity, 1795: “In my brain are studies … filled with books and pictures of old which I wrote and painted … and those works are the delight and study of archangels,” wrote Blake

William Blake “Pity”

There was one time I was moved to tears in a museum. It was in 1997, in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. They were holding an exhibit of William Blake’s illustrations of the Book of Job. The images were so small (about 7″ x 5″), but their impact was vast. I was overwhelmed by their presence.

William Blake “Job’s Sons and Daughters Overwhelmed by Satan”

In 2019 the Tate Museum held an exhibit of Blake’s work that I wish I could have seen.

Tate’s comprehensive retrospective, its first in nearly a generation, features more than 300 drawings, paintings, watercolours, woodcuts, and illustrated books, and provides the perfect opportunity to explore the secrets behind Blake’s ever-evolving legacy and to contemplate the emergence in popular imagination of a London eccentric whose ambition was to help us “see a World in a Grain of Sand / And a Heaven in a Wild Flower”, to “hold Infinity in the palm of [our] hand / And Eternity in an hour”.

See the full article here: BBC – William Blake: The greatest visionary in 200 years

William Blake “Behemoth and Leviathan”

**************

RICHARD BLEDSOE is a visual story teller; a painter of fables and parables. He received his BFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Richard has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years, in both the United States and internationally. He lives and paints happily in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Michele and cat Motorhead. He is the author of Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization:

Remodernism is not a style of art, it is a form of motivation. We express the universal language of inspired humanity.

We do not imitate what came before. We find in ourselves the same divine essence of love and excitement which has inspired masterpieces throughout history. We are strengthened by drawing on traditions thousands of years old.

We integrate the bold, visionary efforts of the Modern era into a holistic, meaningful expression of contemporary life. Remodernism seeks a humble maturity which heals the fragmentation and contradictions of Modernism, and obliterates the narcissistic lies of Postmodernism.

Remodernism is the return of art as a revelation.

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: The 10 best works by William Blake

Art world links which caught my eye...

The Ghost of a Flea.

William Blake “The Ghost of a Flea”

From 2014, a listicle about the visionary William Blake, one of my artistic heroes.

See the full artilce here: THE GUARDIAN – The 10 best works by William Blake

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

DAILY ART FIX: Punk Icon Patti Smith Sings William Blake’s “The Tyger”

Art world links which caught my eye…

When worlds collide. Legendary performer Patti Smith shares how she got to examine the sketchbook of visionary artist William Blake. She encountered the original manuscript of the poem, “The Tyger.” She composed a moving, reverent hymn to accompany the verses.

Art is a form of spiritual communication. This performance was a wonderful discovery which resonated with me, both as an artist and a retired punk.

**************

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 a book. Or a painting

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.

Remodernism Video: BEFORE THERE WAS FAKE NEWS, THERE WAS FAKE ART

Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

ART QUOTES: Do the Work, Part 3

See ART QUOTES: Do The Work, Part 1 Here

See ART QUOTES: Do The Work, Part 2 Here

William Blake “The Song of Los” 

To create a little flower is the labour of ages.

-William Blake

.

Image result for john singer sargent

John Singer Sargent, “Carolus-Duran”

Mine is the horny hand of toil.

-John Singer Sargent

.

Fernando Botero “The Family” 

My work is a self-portrait of my mind, a prism of my convictions.

-Fernando Botero

.

Georges Braque: Atelier VIII is a summation of everything Braque had learned about art during his long life.

Georges Braque “Atelier VIII”

One day I noticed that I could go on working my art motif no matter what the weather might be. I no longer needed the sun, for I took my light everywhere with me. 

-Georges Braque

.

Odilon Redon, “The Cyclops” 

The good work proceeds with tenacity, intention, without interruption, with an equal measure of passion and reason and it must surpass that goal the artist has set for himself. 

-Odilon Redon 

ART QUOTES: Sagittarius Artists

blake_hell_25_centaur_cacus

William Blake “Centaur”

“I was walking among the fires of Hell, delighted with the enjoyments of Genius; which to Angels look like torment and insanity.”

-William Blake ( born November 28, 1757)

.

I don’t believe the stars control our fates, or can be used to tell our fortunes. But life has proven to me again and again the time of year a person is born does seem to influence their personalities.

Why would this be the case? I have no idea. But my observations show me the universe is full of patterns, cycles, all evidence of the great underlying order beyond our limited human perceptions. The pseudo-science of astrology is the result of centuries of study on human behavior. Somehow we find echos of our souls projected out into a cosmic scale; around and around we all go, playing our variations of the 12 eternal roles manifested in symbols of animals, mythical beasts, and human archetypes.

We are now in the time of Sagittarius (November 22 -December 21). They are symbolized by the centaur archer, a summation of their temperament: always galloping around excitedly, while innocently shooting off arrows of tactless commentary.

Sagittarius Traits

  • Optimistic
  • Enthusiastic
  • Philosophical
  • Adventurous
  • Careless
  • Impatient

Can you see the Sagittarius personality reflected in the work and words of these artists?

HEC/36500/36581a.tif

Walt Disney and friends

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
-Walt Disney (born December 5, 1901)
.
.
four-ages-in-life-1902
Edvard Munch “Four Stages in Life”
“My whole life has been spent walking by the side of a bottomless chasm, jumping from stone to stone. Sometimes I try to leave my narrow path and join the swirling mainstream of life, but I always find myself drawn inexorably back towards the chasm’s edge, and there I shall walk until the day I finally fall into the abyss.”
-Edvard Munch (born December 12, 1863)
.
.
schulz
Charles Schulz, a dog and his boy
“My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?”
-Charles Shulz (born November 26, 1922)
.
.
movement-i-1935-jpglarge
Wassily Kandinsky “Movement 1”
“The true work of art is born from the Artist: a mysterious, enigmatic, and mystical creation. It detaches itself from him, it acquires an autonomous life, becomes a personality, an independent subject, animated with a spiritual breath, the living subject of a real existence of being.”
-Wassily Kandinsky (born December 16, 1866)

 

 

COMMENTARY: The -isms of Modern Art

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alfred Barr, Jr.

Director of New York City’s Museum of Modern Art 1929-1943

.

Lots of people say they don’t appreciate Modern Art. The term is used as a kind of generic catchall description, often a term of derision for the hokum perpetrated by the out of touch creative class of visual artists.

Technically though, when people refer to Modern Art, they are talking about something that is already in the past.

Modern Art was the future that ended.

For centuries in the western world, art followed predictable formulas, and only changed slowly. Artists focused on creating variations of Classical art, inspired by the masterpieces of ancient Greece, Rome, and the Renaissance.

There was broad consensus on what made for quality art. Order, beauty, and flawless adherence to approved techniques were desirable traits. Support for artworks came from powerful institutional patrons: the church, the state, and the aristocracy. These factions had much to gain from promoting stability and the status quo.

Sometimes an isolated eccentric would create art of a different kind, and challenge expectations. The artistic and cultural establishment of the times reacted harshly to such experimentation. William Blake was called mad, and worked in near total obscurity on his visionary books. J.M.W. Turner faced criticism and ridicule as his landscapes became more atmospheric and abstract. Francisco Goya kept his powerful and morbid black paintings hidden away from his employers at the royal court.

Despite these occasional flare ups from forward thinking radicals, for centuries the art world was a model of social control. Creatives were dominated by the elite. Training and opportunities for artists were under monopolistic control. It’s not that different in today’s commercialized fine art market. Advancement requires conformity to the self-aggrandizement and conceits of the ruling class.

But by the middle of the 1800s, the traditional dynamics changed. Life started moving faster than the establishment could react. The long standing pattern of gradual cultural evolution done in the service of the powerful underwent massive disruptions.

The Modern Age was upon us.

There’s no clear cut definition of the time the Modern Era covered. I define the era of Modern Art as running almost 100 years, bracketed by two art shows: the Salon des Refusés in Paris 1863, to the first major Pop Art show held in New York in 1962. The roots run deeper, and the influence lingers longer, but this is a useful measure for when Modern ideas were the most important in the culture.

Before the Modern age, the conventional understanding was art should present beauty, which represents truth. In modern art, beauty was no longer the highest aspiration, because it symbolized a kind of order and redemptive quality intellectuals had lost faith in.

Modern age rationalism and materialism compels that everything needs to be dissected and analyzed. Artists brought this mentality into art, and manifested this questioning both thematically and visually.

As the Modern age unfolded, the ideas imposed by social changes seemed to demand artists abandon art’s enduring function as a tool for bringing harmony and unity into the lives of humanity. A sense of doubt became a standard starting point.

No longer did art look to provide the comforting experience of the beautiful.  Modern art featured probing and often critical ideas about the nature of art, perception, humanity, and the values we so often fail to live up to. Pessimism was a safe attitude, depicted with ugliness.

Modern art took on an unstable aspect as artists looked to find something to effectively replace the sense of meaning and purpose that had informed the art of the past. The creative class tried to define possible alternatives, angling for personal advantage and prestige. Theories abounded.

Modernism fragmented into competing movements, schools, and influences. With all the possibilities swirling around, artists were not sure what or who to believe in. In rapid succession, the art world moved through major phases: Impressionism, Post Impressionism, Symbolism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Abstraction, Cubism, Futurism, Suprematism, Constructivism,. De Stijl, Dada, Surrealism, and Abstract Expressionism. Artists built entire careers based on the nuances of these experiments.

Modern art can be observed as a series of trends proposed as solutions to the void introduced into heart of art-and by extension, life itself. Nothing seemed to work for long.

This lead to a terrible burnout, and what we have now: the sophistry, shallowness and will to power of the Post Modern age. But even this horror is coming to an end. We are at the beginning of a new era. Welcome to the Remodern Age. We integrate the fragmentation of the Moderns back into a holistic approach, art as a tool for communion and connection once again.