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James M. Jones

Art...vs....art

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I think people are too hung up on whether artists are crafters or crafters are artists.

But I'll add more trouble to the situation. Our notion of art in general means that we consider an art product to be a unique piece of work, not a reproducible item.

Problems arise, in the 20th century it was pretty much realized that art could be made be means of mechanical reproduction, and that art could be made while calling into question the concept of 'single person authorship'. So during the Baroque era, remember Stradivari was not a Renaissance character, he was contemporary with many other artists and crafters who were changing how they thought about art and craft. For example it was considered normal for an artist to also be called upon to decorate, design, and perform social duties like being dignitaries and representatives for royalty. Artists could be called to curate collections of art and make art, or oversee the designs of a state wedding.

What makes or does not make those activities art?

And in the context of mechanical reproduction and assembly line style fabrication, where do you place yourself as an instrument maker that makes a unique and personally authored product, rather than a fiddle put together in a Chinese factory?

So if a 'one off' personally authored product is art, why not be an artist if you are not making factory fiddles?

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Out of international tax rules what is "art"

 

"An artist is recognized as if his entire body of work of experts and people interested in art is considered to be artistically significant, and may be assumed that this assessment over long time endures. Awards, art prizes, major art exhibitions and participation in the acquisition of works by important museums with a national reputation are important indicators of the importance of an Artist."

 

So i am "only a craftsmen. No Awards, no won prizes, no exhibitions, no participation on anything of it......sorry.

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Ahhhhh look here.......now you all can discuss more about art....vs.....art.

 

Don`t think it is out of IKEA otherwise you will get called an "philistine"

 

Contemporary art by Damian Hirst. Estimate by Sotheby`s: 1.2 Million $

 

 

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Wow.... I wonder how much this piece of "Art" by Marcel Duchamp goes for? :D  :lol:

 

I think the  real "Art" is selling these things....or seeing art in it....then again it may be like the Emperor's new clothes, I'm not intelligent enough to see it...  :D  :lol:

 

Duchamp_Fountaine.jpg

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Wiki: ***The prices for replicas, editions, or works that have some ephemeral trace of Duchamp reached its peak with the purchase of one of the eight 1964 replicas of "Fountain" for $1.7 million at Sotheby's in November 1999.[20]

If you want to go solely on auction price, Duchamp trumps Hirst, even with a later multiple edition of the Fountain. The original Fountain would likely beat out Strads at auction.

But I was getting at something else, like a discussion of author vs. non author as a thing that validates, but I'm happy to see such dour and sarcastic responses. :)

Here's some of what I think about Duchamp.

Some people reacted to WWI artistically, the Dada movement which the Fountain is associated with took off on the absurdity of WWI. Kurt Schwitters wrote a theatrical oddity in the form a dramatic monolog the Ur Sonata, then Elgar wrote the Cello Concerto he's famous for. Two really different kinds of responses.

The Fountain kind of backfired on Duchamp, he was "making" those pieces he called Ready Mades, bottle racks, and other premade objects to say something about the stupidity of developing and aesthetic sensibility to judge art and to elevate oneself in a variety of ways; socially, intellectually. He was poking fun at ART in capitals like we discussed in the Scroll Thread. The problem is, people then began looking at the bottle racks as objects with aesthetic value. In some ways this was good because it made viewers aware of art and craftsmanship in objects with no special author. It changed the 19th century European concept of high Art by cutting it down and saying there's art everywhere if you want to think deeply about what you are looking at. The way a baker slices the top of a loaf before it goes into the oven, and the way that rip in the crust bakes out into a hard brown furrow, becomes after the Ready Mades, a beautiful yet transitory sculpture. Both the bakers 'action' of making the cut and the result after it's transformation in the heat of the oven can be seen as artistic acts with aesthetic values.

This made Duchamp pissed off. So he upped the stakes and made Ready Mades with objects he thought the public and his patrons would finally reject as objects that could be made into fetish items for those who wanted to learn to have an aesthetic experience with anything. The viewers were able to see the urinal as a sculpture. Then I think that was the last straw and he devoted his time to his other genius which was chess. He used art to support himself when he needed it, by making editions of things he had selected early in his career because they were premade objects. Weird, no? He was getting even, he was saying OK, you've developed that aesthetic for my work which I did not intend you to develop, so now you pay for it.

As for Hirst, well he's a douche, not a fountain. He's a third generation Duchamp imitator, he started out as a poor mans Duchamp and then dealers were able to sell him and others like him, because ironically the art world was tuned to the real Duchamp's work, which as I mentioned actually backfired on him.

When it comes to ART Marcel was Duchamp.

Or as bumper stickers in art school parking lots say: If you can't do art, Duchamp.

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What does it mean that one of the most famous American paintings of the 19th century is William Harnett's trompe-l'oeil "The Old Violin" in which he uses a fairly mediocre "factory" instrument for a model?  Would it be a greater work of art if he had used the "Titian" Stradivari or a nice Stainer?


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It means he did not 'fool your eye'? Or it means lived before Duchamp? 

 

It most likely would have meant his drinking buddy was a concertmaster who let him paint the Strad while they sat there with whiskeys & chatted about how corrupt the local politicians were.

 Hirsh, just want to further. I can't stand his work, not because I think he's a fake, but because just don't like it. I would not expect be called a Phillistine if I said that to someone in the art world, I would just tell them why I don't like it. If you can articulate it it's valid, but even if you don't like it, still valid to not like something. And also valid to judge some thing as not art if you don't think it's art. If someone called me a Philistine I would like, it would mean I was not conforming to their dumb idea about what is what.

However IF I called someone a Philistine...haha ..that would be different.. :)

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As for Hirst, well he's a douche, not a fountain. He's a third generation Duchamp imitator,

As a 18th generation Del Gesu imitator .....I'm proud to be an uber' douche. :o hell I can't even do a good job of it.

 For me, my work has been focused away from the high arts...duchamp seems to have played into it.

  I have no argument with ART, duchamp included , IMy concearn is that by blurring the line between Art and craft we loose some of the deffinition in the work itself, yes beauty exists all around,if we can choose to see it, in the oddest places if we only put our mind to it. true , I see diffrence between ART and Craft as lying in intent ...where as duchamp's primary intent seemingly exist entierly to create a human diolouge ..to make a point .by whatever means nessisary. and he did that effectivaly.....the last thing on the mind of the guy who actualy made the toilet  was ART,I'm pretty sure cash, woman ,food, family,shelter were the motivation in the actual making.. in craft the intent is primarily to diologe with material.. a watch repairman making a tiny gear  for a rolex whose sole mission in life is to  say nothing more than "HEY!look how rich this guy is ,and the time is..."

  If "violins are Art" and craftsmen are artist ,in any vernacular sence of the word ,where then is the parrell evolution in violins that we see in the high arts? As we see in guitars? Where is the personal statement, however absurd or profound ?Why such empasis on conformation ? What is the BIG Idea behind your work. in the end the only thing that give duchamp toilet is the big idea, I don't have any when it comes to violins ,,,except to make the best fiddle that I can.

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Ah, but Duchamp is not just about the Fountain or the urinal used to create that insincere work of art. He was a complex artist who worked within what many would call a standard painting format and who also did more far out stuff.

 

The Large Glass, a Duchamp work, is very much about making a regular picture like a painting of objects, only you see through it as you look at it. He's not trying to make dialog about art, but adding another layer of seeing to the work. The ironic thing is that by making the work literally transparent he made it even more mysterious. And better.

 

But talking about reproductions and copies, and replicas and forgeries and authorship is what I was wanting to get people to talk about. I'm fascinated by what makes the past better, and why a copy of a thing like a unique signature work, a violin with an authentic label (or not) is something people want to reproduce. And why some reproductions are better than others, based on the author of the copy To me art does not have to have a reason or a concept, although it may. I don't need someone to 'express' to me to make it art. Actually I'd prefer they did not intend express anything and let the art do the talking. I see the beauty of how they did it an the choices they made at it gives enough information. In the end I don't care about the difference between craft and art, to me there is little if any difference. What I discern and care about is whether or not they were present when they made the thing or played the thing. I think there's a difference between doing something so you are engaged and present and making something that is a illustration of being totally present.

 

Duchamp had a wordy thinking component to some of his work, but that was him, he was being Marcel. He was a great chess player, his mind really worked that way with art. But he could be evasive and mysterious too. What I try to see in any art or craft ( I still don't see difference) is that the maker left behind something alive, some presence. When the person making something is fully engaged an they are tapped into somethng bigger then them selves, they always leave behind a trace that shows they were there. That is what I look for. If you go into room by yourself, you usually take others with you, they are standing around watching you. Friends, your wife, former teachers, enemies, artists you love, violinmakers you love. As you work, those folks leave the room a few at a time. As they do you hear the voice inside you saying: "Oh don't do that! Your old teacher would not like that kind of carving style at all." Then you take a breath and go deeper into your work and soon 20 minutes later you are working in a zone where time stops, an hour seems like two minutes. Some people never get there or don't fully get there. And if they make decisions about concepts and what they want to express before they get there it often looks the idea and the work don't match up. That is why I don't need a grand concept to accept works of art as works of art.

 

 

 

But you can tell a violin that was made by a person in that timeless zone when all the extra actors have left the stage and that one person is left working; they trust themselves to be guided by that state into doing good work. You can tell who is illustrating and who is in that state delivering when they work. But since a violin, or guitar building process has lots of stops and starts, it is difficult to keep moving back and forth between the rational world of what must be done to craft a violin that functions as a music instrument and that timeless feeling where you are almost guided by something other than you.

 

Ever been in that state where are are carving something familiar and time stops? You can see those passages in peoples works as beautiful scrolls and heels on guitars or arching. You also see the scrolls and arching where they make an illustration of an arching or a scroll, they were not in that place when they did it. I think when someone pushes to that place and lets IT talk they make the sublime passages in the violin. Not every instrument has that, but the ones that do seem more like art than not.

 

 

Now that I have worn myself out , I too will go back to work. 

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Peopel who don't like contentoray art or ridicule it because they won't take time to see it usually can stomache Leroy Nieman, or think he's actaully good. Nothing wrong with him, nothing right either. He cancels himself out both ways.

 

Even Peter Schjeldahl has kind word for Mr. Hefners fine painter:

 

 

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/06/leroy-neimans-postscript.html

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I know I know BORRING ....

    For my part , I am never realy alone,my teachers encourge and support and are present in my work,I cannot in all good contess call my self an Artist" I respect the true artist" to much to debase their work. I only labor and strugle with design ...and watching Two of my favorte Artist" Albert Paily or Tom Joice (both self defined as artist)  design is a gift and a treasure ,not to be confused with my feeble atempts.   If craft and art are in fact simmilies or exactly the same ...then why not call yourself a craftsman? sure we can couch the mud hut as "vernacular sculpture" but is that a outside perspective .I think so ..how does the mud hut builder feel about it.? does his opnion matter ....? I do feel more connected to the factory worker than the upscale studio artiste'

  My best most personal example of the diffrence is my grandfather. He retired as a materialsd expert for General Electric. he worked on the batan tunnels and building landing strips in the pacific with the CB's. He worked on the develpment of the earlyest  computers,including a magnetic strip for storage of data,  sky lab, ociananic bore hole ,project mole hole ,for modleing GPS systems , and the stinger missle.to name just a few ... He could make and fix just about anything , But ART and being an Artist was the furthest thing from this man mind. he knew the science up down forward and back ,

  To call him an Artist" simply by virtue of his ability to absorb fact and experiment is to my mind just to obtuse for my mind to wrap around.

  It would seem that ART as a meme does not leave room for craft , it seems to want to be all and end all .where as craft seems to have a space for art ...does art have a space for craft? or is it simply co-opting ... anothers reality.

 Art may be hard to define , I agree it does not always need a diolouge with the human,  it also does not require great tecknical prowress with material . consider the viet nam war memorial, an astounding and moving piece that anyone who views it with out precept will experience some sort of wonder,a trigering of the imadgination. , to be considered a master artist the skill (in MY mind ) revolves the PRIMARY focus of the human elliment.

  a stinger missle on the other hand displays aN incredable amount of craftsmanship ,each component crafted with the utmost care and concearn for outcomes ,material type, form and finish paramount to good function. with no concept of message other than eat this mother $%#@! and Die. .

 WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT TO ME?  comming from a vernacular ...language driven society ,it  does mater, the words we use to define ourselves ....I can't  be a "cowboy" simply because I own a horse and a hat I may call myself one but that doe's not make it true.The Sioux and Lacota form a good example. both terms reffer to the same group of people. The term " Sioux" is litteral translated from the Anishinabeg  to english to mean "snake in the grass" varisouly understood as enamy,,,as in ,not even human..... The word" Lacota " on the other hand is the self defined term for this group and translates to the "friendly people" today almost all the indians are gone.... First Nations ,Hochunk lacota and Anishanabe ,and many more tribal people dot the land . So it's a sovernity issue. As a thinker and do' er I've often felt left behing by the ART world,hard to interprate with out a tour guide ,or a masters in fine art. often not of the quality of exicution (craftmanship)I personaly like to see,

  I am not trying in any sence to devalue or displace the artist or the arts or to imply that they are mutualy eclusive and unrelated ,in fact I see them as closely related ....but not exactly the same. mearly trying to define my own works as more craft than art....

  If I want a house /landscape /wedding designed ..I would have a tendancy  seek out a master Artist"

 If I wanted those things built ,made or done to the closest specifications of the artist....I'd want a master craftsman to do it.Green and Green architects were designing for craftsmen. insuring good clean work that will last ...in the best of both worlds that person would embody both ,unfourtunatly the word is not a perfect place. That's my story.

   Now I've got ther ghost of del gesu on my back ..... he's saying " You can't pay the bills chewing the fat" back to my work.

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So, all of the posters aside (me included), it is back into the shop to work on something that may be described as an art or a craft, depending on who you are and how you look at it.

Meaning I'll look at it as an art, and virtually everyone else (everyone else here, that is) can look at it as a craft, apparently.

- as I say ...Hah!, who really cares?

 

And, what does it matter?

 

It doesn't.

 

So, I'll say it again... (as above)

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Words are tricky things indeed!

 

I guess for me, I have a reverence both for the notion of art/artist and craft/craftsman.   Partly, this is because a reserve both terms to represent a high level of individual human investiture into a product.  

 

The more you take the humanity out of something, the less I'm able to see it as either art or craft.   I don't see the extruded products of factories and similar as either art or craft – even when such products reflect a high level of design and planning.  Still you feel the inhumanity of their actual making. If I don't see a high degree of humanity poured in and coming off the product, I don't see art or craft.

 

Perhaps the reason I prefer to focus on the term craft is that I want to honor the aspect of hard work and highly developed skill in violinmaking. 

 

I feel that in modern times the term Art has been much abused by attempts to separate it from these things.  Instead, we conflate 'art' with 'unique', 'individual', 'original', and 'inventive'.  I don't see these things as central to the humanity and expressive communication that I feel are the essence of art.   When a renaissance master painted his fifth 'Madonna and child', using methods and themes that were traditional and established for generations, was he being 'inventive' or 'individual' – certainly not in the gross way required by many modern discussions of art.

 

For me, art is a flower blooming on a stem support by a plant which is craft.  To me, attempts to separate and abstract art away from its foundation in craft are misguided, and mostly destructive.  

 

Who among us believes that the playing of a Heiftz or a Kreisler is simply inspiration and originality divorced from labor and craft?   Even Mozart, the ultimate archetype of the supposedly effortless prodigy, proves the point with his own words.   At various spots in his letters, he says things along the lines of 'people are mistaken thinking my art is easy and effortless'.  I'm only paraphrasing, but there are places where he specifically expresses this sentiment along with an example of his great labors.  For example, in one spot he says this and then talks about how endlessly he worked to perfect his execution of thirds at the keyboard.  And in another, he talks about the aspect of labor in his composition work, and how he has studied the works of virtually every past master.  Etc.

 

So for me, I apply the word craft to violin making not to belittle it, but to honor the humanity and high skill of the work, and to get away from modern abused notions of art requiring originally and anti-tradition.  Let us rather tread paths worn in by ages of artists and craftsmen, the same millennium old things: beauty, grace, insight, purity, expression, complexity, simplicity, etc.

 

 

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    I cannot in all good contess call my self an Artist" I respect the true artist" to much to debase their work. I only labor and strugle with design ..

 

Now I've got ther ghost of del gesu on my back ..... he's saying " You can't pay the bills chewing the fat" back to my work

And dumbfounded me believing you guys didn't want to be labeled "artists" because did not want to belong to the trendoid artsi-fartsi crowd..... :rolleyes:

 

The del' Gesù apparition is not a ghost....didn't you read the code?

 

Now....is music art?

 

In my past life producing records I used to call the ones who wanted to impress their pals with olympics = musicians = they don't listen very well.

And the difficult prima-donna's = artists (emphasis on the "r") = they listen but do not register.

The other competent sound makers who worked for the song/composition = just normal workers who actually listen...... :ph34r:

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This would be my understand of contemporary art. Street chalk painter who do not care about the next rain shower.

 

attachicon.gifJulian Beever Pavement drawings 6.jpg

 

 

That's honest. I'll buy that. 

 

But if people want to hold up some piece of modern art history for ridicule to laugh at it, well I can say something that puts it into context as a part of art history that makes it interesting and valuable. 

 

I just want people to be honest about what they see and understand. I'm not interested in judging or one upping the thoughts and understanding of art by others, but I don't have to stand for things I understand being brought up as jokes or bad art. It's not good enough to throw up an image and knock it down just because you feel like it. 

 

I just want art to have a fair shake. 

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Ok...sorry Stephen,  maybe I my non serious look at life and specially myself have confused things.....

 

My honest outlook at modern art, if anyone cares is this.....I have many friends who are "known" artists, painters, sculptors and so on, I have talked much with them about it....and now I "think" I understand what I did not before, why when I go to museum in Urbino for example and I am amazed by the art, and when I go to a modern art exhibit, with many "top" artists, I find dull, because in the past some of these guys took 3 or 5 years to finish a painting, in 1408 Gherardo Starnina's contract for frescos stated that the ultramarine should cost two florins per ounce, double the day's rate, which was the price of gold. My friends have no "patron" they need to sell to pay for kid's school (expensive), new car, workspace, plane tickets, restaurants and so on, they finish a work in a week (manner of saying) and use whatever blue, have no idea what the best Afghan ultramarine looks like, nor would spend that kind of money......so you guys are comparing your instruments with Strad's del'Gesùs and so on, and are just as good and in some criterias even better, now I wish I could say that about modern art, the economy just doesn't allow it, when I ask a friend of mine owner of a gallery which modern artist can compare to Raffaello Sanzio, Sandro Botticelli, Jan van Eyck he has no answer......My humble take (and sorry again for the lousy humor) is that Duchamp was the final blow to art, I understand after reading your post that he was making fun at the posh artsi world, but the effect and influence was not positive, now I hear artists and art teachers telling me it's "the idea" and I think, what about the craft? What these guys made was not just an idea, it needs actual talent (99 % transpiration?) and that talent takes years to develop, you have to learn it, repeat, test, experiment, it's not a spur of the moment thing......yes one can get lucky and paint a masterpiece in a day, but that luck will not repeat  with consistence ....The other day a friend of mine (artist) walked me through a large exhibit, and there was this stainless steel sculpture going for 800 grand, well it looked like one of these radar/dinghy/anemometer supports some boats have without the instruments, and it just looked ugly, ridiculous and cheap.....or maybe I'm too dumb to understand....

 

I am not talking about all modern artists, there are exceptions.

 

Either way, please accept my humble apologies, and I know, "Carlo stop joking in the internet", I don't take myself seriously, but others may, and I really do not mean to offend anyone....and Stephen, I really enjoy your posts...  :)

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Carlo,

 

 Now if I could tell you how many times I have seen stupid 800 grand steel sculptures a wanted to vomit....it would be many times. Lots of art simply does to work and totally sucks. I would agree. 

 

I wrote something in response to your post thinking about how much time it takes to make things. But also thought I've got a big mouth...but if you want to read I'll post it. 

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I Like this Christopher,

 

What if Science is Art and both are the same as Knowledge - The top of the pyramid is Wisdom

 

'scientific rigour' is not Science that's trenching (=engineering) quite often missunderstood as science

Peter,

 

You say that "science is art."  Sorry, I strongly disagree. To me, science is a method for finding how the physical world works. Art is about the brain/eye/heart interaction with the external world. The goal is some kind of human response, which could be understanding of an aspect of the physical world, but mostly not.

 

To take a word like "science" and say it is the same as "art" is to pervert the use of language.

 

Art is about the human response. Science is about the workings of the universe.

 

Wisdom is all about experience over time, mostly about how people behave. You can't have much wisdom in youth because you haven't much experience with humans.

 

Having said all that, violin making for me is the wonderful blend of art and science.

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Carlo , I get the idea you are traveling on a sailboat, is that so? Or you live in an island. Sorry to pry, I'm not with the NSA.

Ok since you asked, bear in mind I am THE frustrated art history professor so please don't hold that against me. I love to talk about art. I love looking at all kinds of art. I might sound didactic or bloated, but when I fart and drink a beer, it all levels out.



Re your post:

Well I’ll swing at a few of those pitches. I understand what you are saying about time spent vs. conveying a concept with means that don’t look skilful. My thought is that many, many contemporary artists are not that good! But the ones who are, are really, really good, and some even as good or better than old masters.

First the problem of ‘time spent’ ; I don’t have any solutions, but I can offer ways of thinking about the situation and maybe looking at it in a different light. I love looking at old works, I spent a lot of time doing that, I also like Pierre Bonnard and Matisse as much as I like Masaccio and the Siennese painters of the Early Renaissance. That puts us in your time period of 1400. In many ways they are not so different. I could say try looking at the 20th century painter Balthus and Piero Della Francesca at the same time. For a few weeks. Open up a book about each one and look at what Balthus did and think about how much he looked at Piero. Or look at Vermeer and Edouard Vuillard in the same way. Vuillard is every bit as good as Vermeer and they have a lot of affinities. But that stuff is just exersizes in seeing and comparing. It’s hard work and it’s not for everyone. Frankly, it is how people gain deep visual acuity, by working hard for it and putting in the time to compare, contrast, study, think, rethink, re-look and continue to grow as a viewer. Some work is easy to see right away, most realistic art is that way. If someone said to a person standing next to you- “Hey, how do you like those Guarneri F holes on that violin? And the person said ..”they look like a every other F hole on every other violin” ..well that person was not looking very deeply. Modern art, sad to say, is the same way. You don’t always see it right away, because it might have taken that artist 20 years to be able to ‘see’ in the way they are seeing.

Like what the hell is Cubism? It’s just some blocky looking pictures of half folded newpapers painted with ugly browns. That’s pretty much how I feel about it most of the time. When I see a really good cubist picture by Juan Gris, who was as good as Picasso or Braque, it knocks my eyes out. Juan Gris could also draw as well as Andrea del Sarto…A mannerist after Raphael. Look them up and let me know if I am on target.

I was in China in the early 1990’s taking an art history course. I learned a lot about time. Chinese painters traditionally take a long, long time to develop. It takes ten years to learn how to paint Sung Dynasty style landscapes with any degree of facility a Chinese scholar of pictures would deem good. But after the time spent learning how to make one, it does not take that long to actually paint the picture - maybe a few days, perhaps a week. But the artist who is making it was or is as good as any Italian Renaissance painter.

A couple of things to consider, the pictures of the Italians were done in egg tempera, oil paint or fresco. The technical route they used was the long route. The support panel needed to be made, the ground layers applied and smoothed. A drawing called the cartoon was made and then transferred to the support. An under painting was begun, usually in those days of Ultramarine..the Afghanistan pigment. Then layers of opaque and transparent color are layered over the under painting…It took along time to make a painting because they were essentially ‘building’, literally building a picture. Fresco could be even longer.

They also had to stick strictly to the plan, they could not make a lot of changes while they painted. Yes you can look at X-rays of Leonardo work and see a hand moved a few inches or a head adjusted a half inch, and stuff like that. But they pretty, much had to conceptualize the painting and execute it according to a tight planning process. Move forward in time and look at Matisse, he was able to cut and edit his picture at the speed he could paint them because he was not beholden to sticking to a plan. In fact part of his bigger idea was that he was free to move things around, flatten, remove objects from the picture and return them. The pentimenti left by that process became part of the picture. Bonnard did much the same thing with color. Instead of being pinned to that ultamarine ground under painting, he could start with any layer and work to make color juxtapositions that were stunning. Bonnard also used color to move space and shape compositionally the same way Matisse did, but he did it slower and more deliberately by moving small areas of color around. To many his pictures look loose and disorganized but once you begin to see the way he ordered space they begin to look as rigorously composed as Poussin. You don’t have to look any of this crap up, but if you can see room full of Bonnard paintings and let it work on you. Difficult to see outside of Wash. DC or Paris however. A good book does not do him justice.

How many persons are Bonnard’s or Matisse’s out there in the world? Not many, but there are Richard Diebenkorns and Gerhard Richters and Vija Celmins. ( look her up of you like obsessive drawings)

A Chinese or Japanese painter spends twenty years leaning to paint works on paper with ink. Ink flows fast, brushes move quickly. The materials want you to paint in a way that is not fast or slow, but the general pace is faster than oil painting because it is so direct. There is the paper, now move the brush over it and make a masterpiece. Only few people can do that, and when they do it takes about two minutes. And if they want to make an intricate painting it make take a few days. Time spent means a lot, but it can be the three years to make the Italian work in 1550 or the ten years it takes to prepare to make a brush drawing that tells lot with a few marks. Try taking a brush with just thin ink and make a picture of five persimmons that people will look at for hundreds of years and wonder how it was done.

And modern art, who prepares themselves like that? Not many, some do and they are good. You know de Kooning paintings of the late 1950’s which are broom like swashes of paint that look like he moved his arm at 90 miles per hour? He painted those really slowly.

I‘ll shut up now.

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