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Art / Modern Art 'Appreciation'


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So, this is prompted by a discussion in our house yesterday evening and then Davkaus in the ranty thread. Personally, I don't mind a bit of modern art, but not all of it as a blanket statement. I could put talc on a baby and place it on a unicorn covered in ribbons surrounded by kittens, but if I called it modern art the mother in law would want it shredded and burnt. She has a view point and facts aren't going to cloud her judgement.

Anyway, for what it's worth, this is my fave piece of art and has been for quite some time. Whenever I get a chance I pop in and have a nice long look at it - even though it's currently really badly lit in a stupid alcove.

Ladies and gents, Matisse, and his Snail:

220px-Matissesnail.jpg

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Looks like something a 2 year old would 'create'.

ah and if you saw it you'd be even more impressed. It's pieces of ripped coloured paper stuck on a background - and he didn't even do it himself! He supervised his students wilst they did it.

It has an absolute simplicity and is completely striking from a distance (it's a good size, about 2 metres square).

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It's the easiest sitting target in the world for the inverted snob, isn't it?

I just like anything that evokes some sort of emotional or intellectual response, whether it's in mass entertainment, "trad" representational art, or something more avant garde.

You don't have to apologise for liking it, any more than you do for not liking it.

One thing I would suggest to anybody who is sceptical about art, is to go to a gallery and see it "in the flesh", so to speak. It can be astonishing how much more impressive the original work is than a cheap print or a photograph of it in a book or a web page.

Same goes for theatre vs. TV/film and 'live' classical music vs. recordings.

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Everyone should take a chance to stroll around a gallery.

A little background knowledge (a quick google) of an exhibition you are about to see will help a lot. Unless you are one to go on guided tours. I prefer to sit on the floor a good few metres away from a painting and listen to music.

Interwebs really isn't the right platform for art.

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Not a big art aficionado. I know what I do and don't like though, and I'm happy to spend the odd hour in a gallery/museum every once in a blue moon. I'd love to go to the Giger museum in Gruyères some day. As for "modern" art, to say I didn't like it would be disingenuous as I'm sure that term encompasses a pretty broad scope and I'd probably find something that I liked. I can say that honestly that Matisse above (and stuff akin to it) wouldn't do much for me personally, but it's all subjective, innit?

My two favourite pieces of art are these...

14711i.jpg

Schacht Nr. 7 (Shaft Number 7)

What I love about that is it's pretty much the visualisation of a recurring theme from any/every nightmare I've had since I was a kid; a staircase with no sides aside a sheer drop into a pitch-black abyss (unsurprisingly, I've never done well with heights). For me, that imagery is highly emotive, near frightening even.

DollmanAVeryGallantGentleman.png

A Very Gallant Gentleman

Not so much the artwork but the subject matter for me, I've always been interested in and enjoyed (if that's the right word) studying up on the Terra Nova expedition, as such I'll happily consume anything related to it.

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"There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists" (E H Gombrich - The story of art)

Possibly the best opening line to any non-fiction book.

My advice for appreciating art is to avoid the guides and guidebooks. Get yourself to a gallery and experience art first hand and form you own opinions. There are no wrong reasons for disliking art but there are wrong reasons for liking art (I think Gombrich also wrote something similar).

The National Gallery is a fantastic place to start. You can see the progression of European art, from 2D iconography praising God right through to the start of the modernist movement.

Personally, my favourite artist is Canaletto.

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I much prefer older paintings that are actually of stuff, to more modern art.

Like the old religious paintings, despite me not being very religious, I really enjoy looking at.

I'd be more likely to decorate my house with modern art, because that's how I see it, decoration. Where as those older paintings are what I'd rather see in a gallery.

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It's the easiest sitting target in the world for the inverted snob, isn't it?

I just like anything that evokes some sort of emotional or intellectual response, whether it's in mass entertainment, "trad" representational art, or something more avant garde.

You don't have to apologise for liking it, any more than you do for not liking it.

One thing I would suggest to anybody who is sceptical about art, is to go to a gallery and see it "in the flesh", so to speak. It can be astonishing how much more impressive the original work is than a cheap print or a photograph of it in a book or a web page.

Same goes for theatre vs. TV/film and 'live' classical music vs. recordings.

not sure about "inverted snob" , I just happen to think paintings like the snail example shown are just Bollocks

I'm no philistine ,I'll spend hours in museums or what not when I'm on my travels , indeed of the "accepted" 24 Da Vinci paintings I just did a quick count up and I've seen 16 of them in the flesh so I'm not adverse to a bit of paint on canvas , but when it comes to Modern Art , then l draw the line .. If I walked in and saw that in a gallery , i'd walk out and ask for my money back

but i really don't see that as inverted snobbery tbh

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I'm guessing Tony wouldn't fully appreciate my drip n splash paintings in the style of pollock?

It is worth going into Tate Modern and seeing the Matisse, its obviously far superior in the flesh compared to a laptop screen. But it is strictly personal, I just love the absolute simplicity of it, where I dislike a lot of the Hurst stuff which just appears so needlessly contrived and thought through.

But, in my opinion, Tate Liverpool is ram packed full of tat and rubbish. The Matisse Snail I 'get', lots of the stuff in Liverpool, sort of sculpture come installation come pile of cutlery I really don't get.

White Cube down in Hoxton is always worth a visit.

I'd suggest this piece below is one that people have grudgingly come to like. Initially lots of the commentary was along the lines of WTF! but it actually appears to have worked quite well.

angel4001.jpg

one I really liked, but sadly didn't work, B of the Bang

812379770_3fcce365c1_z.jpg

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art is wonderful, or crap. It Doesn't have to stir the emotions, you just have to enjoy what you are looking at. My wife is dutch so we spend plenty of time over in Holland, and plenty of that in Galleries. Its probably been popular for a while now but most things by vermeer are outstanding. We have no wallpaper anywhere in the house, haven't had for twenty years, we just collect prints, put them in a nice frame and put them up. We have about 20 in the loft, we just change them around from time to time. Currently the prominent ones are by Vermeer, the 2 Breughals and Canallettos. I think we definitely prefer Traditional stuff. That doesn't mean we cant appreciate some of the more modern pieces. However anyone who thinks that Mark Rothko's Seagram shite, was any good needs their heads looking at, just my opinion really.

I also had a wonderful time at MOMA. They had a Red E type jag, fantastic piece. There is also some work by Cy Twombly,. which, although its the nearest art gets to shite, he does have an absolutely fantastic name. I can even remember some of his pieces, and I try to forget the bastards. But the real outstanding thing we saw was a room done out in green and white veritical stripes, with blank spaces where frames would be. It really was stunning. Its only when we read the detail which said, paintings have been removed for cleaning.

Anyway I'm no expert, I know what I like and whatever anyone else likes is fine by me

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I saw a brief bit on the news a\bout the Ilfracombe pregnant lady statue that is going up ... i think I'd move if I lived there and had to see it everyday

I've driven past the Angel of the north once when I mistakenly went North of Watford (never again , it's grim , full of poor people and labour voters ) ... it was a bit meh if I'm honest

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I've been trying to catch 'The Shock of the New' on BBC4 which is a decent guide to something I know very little about.

This made more sense to me after watching it:

rene-magritte-this-is-not-a-pipe.jpg

I think there's a lot of bullshit surrounding modern art. Artists are hated when they're productive and 50 years later critics love them because it's safe to.

Birmingham's Ironman got a lot of stick but I like it:

dad%20birmingham%20iron%20man%20025.jpg

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Art is one of those subjects that I don't particularly care about but know enough about.

I'm not really one for the 'inverted snobbery' thing (it annoys me enough with films that some people have to decide some things are more 'worthy' than others and look down on something not because it is necessarily badly made, but because they don't like it), so I won't say that the Snail isn't art - but I don't like it. As far as modern and post modern art goes, I'd say I'm actually less inclined to appreciate anything on a canvas than I am a piece of sculpture or a physical object. I appreciate Carl Andre's pile of bricks more than I appreciate that snail.

I don't appreciate the pretentious nature of modern and post modern art at all though. Conceptual art... nah.

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I prefer the old stuff myself, but simply because it has a place in history and you can appreciate it alongside the context in which it was created. The art that came out of WWI, for example, is utterly magnificent and helped change perceptions of war from a proud patriotic act to a complete waste of human life.

Nevinson's Paths of Glory being a famous example

NevinsonPathsofGlory.jpg

One of my favourite WWI paintings is Paul Nash's Ypres Salient at Night.

large_WWI_1.jpg

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I have a problem with any art, where the alleged artist spends more time airing their poncy explanations that justify it being called art, than creating the piece itself.

If it needs an essay explaining why it is, in fact, art, it should probably get out of the gallery.

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I have a problem with any art, where the alleged artist spends more time airing their poncy explanations that justify it being called art, than creating the piece itself.

If it needs an essay explaining why it is, in fact, art, it should probably get out of the gallery.

It depends on the viewer. If you believe that conception is the most important feature in judging the quality of art, then modern and post modern art do deserve to be in a gallery. The fact that modern and post modern art galleries are successful would attest to that.

Conceptional pieces of art often are accompanied by an explanation in order to describe the inspiration behind them much in the same way that historical pieces of art have a commentary (through a plaque or through headphones) explaining the background to the work, the significance of it and of the subject matter being depicted. You don't necessarily need either type of accompaniment to enjoy the work but it helps form a better understanding of the piece.

You don't have to like it but you can't deny it's rightful place in a gallery.

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