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PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2006 8:17 pm 
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Estel wrote:
Although, when I hear a statement like this

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Kasimir Malevich's art and his Suprematist manifesto are amongst the most vital artistic developments of this century.


About a someone who paints something like this

Image

:rotfl:

To me that's the artistic equivalent of the emperor's new clothes. :D


I don't have a favorite artist, or even a favorite work. What I really like, however, is to hear an artist explain the concept behind his work. I find that greatly adds to my appreciation of works that I might discount out of hand otherwise.

I'll give you an example:

Image


My first impression would be to say, "This is just a strange looking chair. What's the big deal?"

Well, several years ago I was watching a program on PBS and heard artist David Hockney describe this work. As it turns out it's not just a chair. The work represents the chair from several different angles --as if the artist walked around the chair--moulded into one work. It was really fascinating to hear him describe it. That taught me a valuable lesson, namely, there's often much more to a work than what first meets the eye.


Prior to seeing that program I had some acquaintance with Hockney. I saw the productions he'd created for two operas, Mozart's The Magic Flute and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. I purchased a print from the latter at the San Francisco opera shop and had it framed. I've love to share it with you but I could not find an image of it online.

Image

Scene from the Hockney production of "The Magic Flute"

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Last edited by Old_Tom_Bombadil on Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:53 am 
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Quote:
there's often much more to a work than what first meets the eye


That's probably true even of the Malevich painting posted above.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:12 am 
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V, Eru's comment that I quoted wasn't about Malevich, it was about a reference that might be made about Malevich being applied to a large, red rectangle. I left out the rectangle for the purpose of saving space. Perhaps that was inviting confusion.

:sorry:

Edit: I added the rectangle. Hopefully it now makes sense.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:27 am 
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Thanks, Tom. That was the painting I was referring to, though I thought that the artist was Malevich. My bad.

In any event, though I personally don't have the capacity to appreciate art like that, I'm sure there must be more to it then meets the eye. Otherwise why would paintings like that be valued by at least certain people?

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:33 am 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
Otherwise why would paintings like that be valued by at least certain people?

That's the $64 question, isn't it? ;)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:49 am 
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Agreed, V. That chair ain't "just" a chair and, I'm sure, that red rectangle ain't "just" a red rectangle. Doesn't mean I think it's worth anything, just that I'm cautious to give a knee-jerk panning.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:19 am 
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The red rectangle is

Quote:
Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions



Much more than meets the eye. In fact, you could almost say that the actual subject of the painting is invisible :roll:

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:12 am 
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I've always liked Bob Ross, personally. :D

Image

All kidding aside, I really did love watching his show, and even now catching the reruns on PBS when I can. He's not my favorite artist, of course, he just makes me feel happy.


One of my all-time favorite artists has to be Alfred Sisley, who is the one impressionist painter whose work I truly love. I've never been a huge fan of Monet or Degas, but Sisley's paintings stand out to my eye for some reason. The painting in my avatar at b77 is one by Sisley, and here are a couple of others.

Image

Image

Image

The colors are striking, and his works in general seem much more natural to me than any other Impressionist. Sisley occasionally uses people in his paintings, such as in the second painting of his that I posted, but they aren't usually the focal point of the work as a whole. His paintings mirror how I view the world, I suppose...they focus mostly on the beauty of the earth, and humans are merely involved. Even when Sisley puts architecture into his works, such as in the first picture of his that I posted, it always feels to me as though he's merely noting that they exist, while putting the focus of the painting on the natural world.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:21 am 
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I love the light, particularly in the second painting. I know nothing about painting, but I truly enjoy seeing light captured accurately. That brings everything else to life. In that second painting I can just about smell the grass. It's been raining most of the day, but the clouds are breaking up and the sun, low in the sky, has just come out. . . . :)

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― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:37 am 
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Estel wrote:
The red rectangle is

Quote:
Painterly Realism of a Peasant Woman in Two Dimensions



Much more than meets the eye. In fact, you could almost say that the actual subject of the painting is invisible :roll:


Ha! Well at least it's good for a laugh! :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:41 am 
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Estel wrote:
In fact, you could almost say that the actual subject of the painting is invisible :roll:

Just like those emperor's new clothes I was talking about. ;)


elfshadow wrote:
I've always liked Bob Ross, personally.

And his happy little trees. :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 11:32 am 
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Voronwë_the_Faithful wrote:
Thanks, Tom. That was the painting I was referring to, though I thought that the artist was Malevich. My bad.


Actually you were right Voronwë, Red Square is by Malevich. :)

I have to disagree with what seems to be a slight dismissal of him and his work, sure it's not obvious that Red Square is a peasant woman (far from it) and I can see why people don't like it or understand it. I certainly don't claim to understand it either, but as has been suggested, there is more to it.

Generally speaking I don't like modern art much, it's just not my thing, but after coming across one of Malevich's 'White on White' paintings, in a way even less inspiring than Red Square, and being absolutely entranced by it, (to my utter amazement I might add ;)) I have tried to understand it more.

Image

My apologies in the colours are way out on this, my monitor is very bad and I can't tell if they are true or not.

I loved the painting so much that I wanted to find out more, to maybe see if I could work out why I was drawn to what seemed to be so dull and unartistic at first glance.

Well it seems that Malevich was trying to push the boundaries of painting as far as he could, he wanted to get rid of the restraints of representation on art - in other words he wanted to paint essences rather than appearances. One quote I read was that (I am paraphrasing), Malevich wanted to create artistic philosophy rather than artistic journalism. Red Square is not meant to look like a woman, it is meant to be a woman seen from a different dimension. What he put down on canvas was to be pure and cerebral but in the form of emotion rather than thought and not connected to the objective or reality at all.

He was an eccentric man, and his work was reviled by the communist establishment and Hitler alike, but I really do think that his contribution to modern art was considerable. As with high fashion, where the designs on the cat walk can appear ludicrous, aspects of it will filter on down to create things of beauty and desirability. I guess that's what has earned Malevich his place in the art world. I still don't claim to see what he saw and I don't even know if anyone does, but I can still enjoy the perfect colours and position of his shapes and figures. *

All of which means nothing of course if his art doesn't speak to you at all. :D We still like what we like and dislike what we don't, regardless of the story behind it - which is as it should be.

Me, I like Red Square and I love White on White :D

* My apologies to any art historians reading this, I have perhaps got it all terribly muddled, this is just my understanding of his work.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 12:18 pm 
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But I should really answer the question asked by the thread!

I share a lot of other people's favourites, Turner, Bouguereau, Rosa Bonheur, Whistler, Monet and Botticelli, to name a few, and I love Dali's Christ of St. John on the cross. It's actually here in Glasgow and is breathtaking to see in person, if I'd known it was a favourite of yours Hobby, I would have made sure that you saw it when you were here!

Other favourites I have are;

Bronzino
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Margaret MacDonald
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Charles Rennie MacIntosh
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Stubbs
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Rembrandt
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Goya
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Last edited by Alys on Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 2:49 pm 
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Alys wrote:
[I have to disagree with what seems to be a slight dismissal of him and his work, sure it's not obvious that Red Square is a peasant woman (far from it) and I can see why people don't like it or understand it. I certainly don't claim to understand it either, but as has been suggested, there is more to it.

I think the problem that most people have with a work of that sort is that virtually anybody could do it. It is simple and requires little skill to paint a red rectangle with a beige border. It seems like a con to call that peasant woman. An artist could call it anything he likes.

In contrast, we admire the skill of those who can create fantastic representational art, or even complex non-representational art, because we know we can't do it ourselves.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:32 pm 
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Old_Tom_Bombadil wrote:
I think the problem that most people have with a work of that sort is that virtually anybody could do it. It is simple and requires little skill to paint a red rectangle with a beige border. It seems like a con to call that peasant woman. An artist could call it anything he likes.


Well most people think that they could do the same, that's for sure, but he didn't just spring from nowhere doing this kind of piece. His work showed a progression from one style to another, and he even wrote about it and his motivations - he was no fly by night with a quick idea of how to make a buck (in fact he died very poor) and he could certainly paint things that looked just like they should if he wanted to.

This website shows a whole selection of his work and it's fascinating to see the changes in style.

We may not see what he could see in his most extreme abstract work, but that doesn't mean that he wasn't genuine and it certainly doesn't mean that the people who do like him are being fooled in any way. If the art speaks to you or moves you then it's valid art IMO, there are artists and art mentioned on this thread that I find uninspiring or pedestrian - but I don't think that makes it any less art.

I believe that his work can fetch a million a shot now, and that's not something everyone can do. ;) Not that art depends or hinges on money of course, but I think it shows a degree of significance that can't all be stupid people with too much money on their hands. :)

But if you don't like him then I won't argue against that - it doesn't show any more or less discernment, or any more or less understanding, than someone who does, it's all about individual taste after all. But please don't dismiss him as having no skill or for being a con man. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:54 pm 
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That's fascinating, Alys! Thanks for the link. :)

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:33 pm 
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Does anyone else finding it strangely fitting that Malevich's name is so similar to Malkovich?

:llama:

In case anyone isn't familiar with it, I am referring primarily to the extremely bizarre film "Being John Malkovich"

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:42 am 
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Modern artists are often driven by intellectual ideas rather than by a visual urge, so unless one is familiar with the conceptual background it is difficult to develop any appreciation of the artwork.

Many ground-breaking artists met with derision in their time - the impressionists, the fauves, the cubists, the dada movement - many who were in the avant garde and did not rely purely on the visual or tactile were not appreciated even by the institutional artworld until their motivations and aims were understood.

Duchamps use of ordinary objects - "Bicycle wheel" or "fountain" - a urinal, etc - caused outrage and even today - well, in themselves these "works" have no inherent merit; but his purpose in displaying them and calling them "art" had far-reaching repercussions for artists and the question of what is art?

Pushing the boundaries is what artists have always done.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:27 pm 
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This just in: Tolkien artist Tim Hildebrandt has passed away from diabetes at age 67.

Most of you young folks roll your eyes at the work of Greg and Tim, but when I was young their interpretations of Tolkien were considered definitive. He was a fine illustrator and will be missed, at least by me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 12:32 am 
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As I said last year, my definition of art is an aesthetic creation by virtue of imagination, talent or skill. I see nothing aesthetic, imaginative, talented or skillful in that red rectangle. Malevich and many "modern" artists are artists though - con artists.

If I were an actor who was properly trained and could inhabit almost any persona, I would be outraged by the money paid to many Hollywood types who can only play the one character - themselves. Same thing.

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