06w12:1 Fred Ross on Academic Art

by timothy. 0 Comments

Introit: Because many on this list are artists, this one needs a bit of introduction. Which is also to prove how valid the points raised in this article are. I found it in the free copy of The Epoch Times being handed out in front of the train station yesterday, and it’s easily one of the most entertaining and pointed things I’ve read on art in a long time. Personally, I still think Bougereau is lame, Ross’ fundamental question is: have I merely been taught to think so?


ARC Chairman Speaks His Mind | Fred Ross
“These [painting] traditions, just when they were at their absolute zenith, at a peak of achievement, seemingly unbeatable and unstoppable, hit the twentieth century at full stride, and then … fell off a cliff, and smashed to pieces on the rocks below. Since World War I the contemporary visual arts as represented in Museum exhibitions, University Art Departments, and journalistic art criticism became little more than juvenile, repetitive exercises at proving to the former adult world that they could do whatever they damn well wanted … sadly devolving ever downwards into a distorted, contrived and contorted notion of freedom of expression. Freedom of expression? Ironically, this so-called ‘freedom’ as embodied in Modernism, rather than a form of ‘expression’ in truth became a form of ‘suppression’ and ‘oppression.’ Modernism as we know it, ultimately became the most oppressive and restrictive system of thought in all of art history. […] During most of the 20th Century, the type of propaganda that has been hurled at academic artists is so insidious that people have been literally trained to discredit, out-of-hand, any work containing well-crafted figures or elements, or any other evidence of technical mastery. […]That is not to say that all academic art is great, or above criticism—certainly, it is not. It would be no less fallacious to issue blanket praise to an entire category than to condemn it. Academic painting ranges from brilliantly conceived and deeply inspired, to trite and silly, depending on the subject and the artist. That being said, I find even the worst of it more meaningful than art based on the ridiculous notion that it is somehow important to prove the canvas is flat, and/or that one needs no skill or technique to be an artist—views generally embraced by those who condemn the entire category of academic art.”Related: ARC (Art Renewal Center) http://www.artrenewal.org

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emailed by Timothy on Friday 31 March 2006 @ 1:00 PM

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