05w23:1 New Old Masterism

by timothy. 0 Comments

Good Reads Mailing List | 2005 week 23 number 1 (new old masterism)


Going Going Gone | Donald Kuspit
“The attempt to create beauty as perfectly as possible has led these artists to emphasize craft — not at the expense of vision, but as its instrument. Sol LeWitt once wrote that ‘When an artist learns his craft too well he makes slick art,’ but the New Old Masterism makes it clear that one can never learn one’s craft too well, and the result of doing so is not slick but uncanny. For superior craft intensifies sight so that it becomes insight, which is what occurs in highly crafted Old Master art. The New Old Masterism restores the idea of the work of art as a carefully considered and composed object rather than an improvised sketch, that is, as an integrated, organic whole rather than a partial expression.”Note: article date 15 Sept 1999

Why it’s ok not to like modern art | Julian Spalding
“I have never met anyone who told me they loved modern art. No one ever came up to me, their eyes glowing with pleasure, telling me I just must see, say, the new wall drawings by Sol Lewitt in the 1970s, or the smashed-plate paintings by Julian Schnabel in the 1980s, or the life-size, glazed porcelain figures by Jeff Koons in the 1990s. […] It is all too obvious to anyone not in the art world (though always denied by those within it) that a rift has opened between the art being promoted in contemporary galleries and the art that people like to hang on their walls at home. […] Any work of art worthy of the name has an instantaneous effect on first viewing. An artist might bring all sorts of feelings and thoughts into play, but unless he or she manages to make them all contribute to one encompassing, illuminating whole, the work of art will have no heart, no ‘life’ of its own. Looking at a great work of art makes one feel more fully aware of one?s thoughts yet no longer wearied by them, more exposed to one?s emotions yet no longer drained by them, more integrated, more composed ? more, in a word, conscious. It is the light of consciousness that great works ignite in our minds. It is this quality of luminosity that unites the divine visions of Piero della Francesca with the nightmares of Goya. This is the light that will return to art after the eclipse has passed. A found object, whether it is a brick or a urinal, cannot by itself inspire you with a heightened level of consciousness, just because it is selected and placed in a gallery. The man who designed the urinal did not make it to inspire ideas about art, but for men to urinate into.”

Queen Street’s New Old Masters | Timothy Comeau
“Dan Hughes’s show is just down the street from Mike Bayne’s, which just closed at Katherine Mulherin’s gallery, which I wrote about here and which mentioned Kuspit’s defense of superior craft ‘enhancing sight to produce insight’. I’m afraid that the only immediate insight I got from Dan Hughes’s show is that varnish makes paintings very shiny. (That and what follows after a couple of days reflection …). My own recent experiences with practicing the craft of painting, in relation to rendering and toward the achievements of the Old Masters is that craft alone clearly isn’t enough.”

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emailed by Timothy on Wednesday 08 June 2005 @ 1:15 PM

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