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Old April 5th, 2017, 07:29 PM   #1

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Has the quality of art been in decline? Why?


Friends,

In the course of the last two centuries, the definition of art has gradually shifted from an elevated form of expression and craftsmanship that required talent, skill and study to produce, to an expression of freedom, novelty and obscure meaning.

Nowadays, we see strange sorts of art such as a sheet of paper with lines drawn a certain way, a painting with many colors splattered over it, and spaces which contain simple objects. There seems to be an inclination in modern art to quantity over quality, and shock over form. It is not uncommon to hear of a plain piece by Picasso being sold at an auction for a higher price than a fine painting by Da Vinci. For these reasons, I believe the quality of art has, for the most part, been declining of late years. What is your view?
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Old April 5th, 2017, 08:36 PM   #2

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andronikos View Post
Friends,

In the course of the last two centuries, the definition of art has gradually shifted from an elevated form of expression and craftsmanship that required talent, skill and study to produce, to an expression of freedom, novelty and obscure meaning.

Nowadays, we see strange sorts of art such as a sheet of paper with lines drawn a certain way, a painting with many colors splattered over it, and spaces which contain simple objects. There seems to be an inclination in modern art to quantity over quality, and shock over form. It is not uncommon to hear of a plain piece by Picasso being sold at an auction for a higher price than a fine painting by Da Vinci. For these reasons, I believe the quality of art has, for the most part, been declining of late years. What is your view?
I agree. 100%,

Abstract Art serves only 1 decent function in my mind. To blend aesthetically with furniture, drapes, carpet, etc, when you want to display a piece of Art, but you want something soothing and non distracting to blend right into the background.

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Of course you could try something like these:

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I prefer the second group but in some cases the first group might be better.



Of course real Art will allways be 100 times better than either group above,
Caravaggio, Goya, Goya, Raphael

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It's only laziness and post modern excuses that say that all art is relative and that one can not be compared to another.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 02:52 AM   #3

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Modern art is primarily abstract art. Abstract art is subjective. Therefore, for me, it will always appeal only to a select group - by its very subjective nature. Personally, I don't get most of it.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 03:02 AM   #4

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There are good pieces of modern art but when you have cases of custodians throwing away MA pieces thinking they are garbage and people mistaking a pair of glasses placed in a gallery as a prank to be part of the exhibition, you know something is wrong.

San Francisco student put glasses on Museum of Modern Art's floor and pretends it's art | Daily Mail Online
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Old April 6th, 2017, 05:41 AM   #5

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There are good pieces of modern art but when you have cases of custodians throwing away MA pieces thinking they are garbage and people mistaking a pair of glasses placed in a gallery as a prank to be part of the exhibition, you know something is wrong.

San Francisco student put glasses on Museum of Modern Art's floor and pretends it's art | Daily Mail Online
Ha ha ha! I could help but laugh hard here, especially about the glasses. I have heard about a custodian cleaning up a whole room in one of the so-called exhibitions. I have a friend whose late spouse was a painter of neat works of still life; this story is literally true. She was never admitted into a gallery, but one day she thought to play a trick and see how far it would go: She got an old rag and wiped it over several colors and then framed it. And what do you think happened? The picture actually got an admittance into the gallery! We hear and see daily more and more proofs of the absurdity of modern art and the decay of proper criticism.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 05:48 AM   #6

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I agree. 100%,

It's only laziness and post modern excuses that say that all art is relative and that one can not be compared to another.

Let me show you a few remarkable differences between old and modern art,

Autumn according to Peter Paul Rubens

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Autumn according to Jackson Pollock

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Marriage according to Raphael

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Marriage according to Picasso

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ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?
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Old April 6th, 2017, 06:44 AM   #7

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As individuals we regard that as "Art" which conforms most nearly to our sense of aesthetics. The seed from which modern art descends can be seen painted deep inside dark caves. The pictures, are abstractions that refer to the world of our remote ancestors. We don't know the purposes or very much about how and why people would choose galleries in the depths of the Earth for their art. Sympathetic Magic and primitive forms of religion are cited often, but no one really knows. The images are clearly drawn from the natural world and the humans who lived in that vanished world. That doesn't mean that the paintings are faithful renditions of particular subjects. The paintings instead use the uneven surface of rock to enhance the idea within the painter's mind. The images are abbreviated to convey the thought resulting in values (darkness and contrasts) and shapes that suggest more than depict the artist's subject. Ancient Cave art isn't confined to natural imagery, but includes symbols (spirals, crosses and swastikas, and ghostly human hands as negative shapes stenciled on the rock surface.

Many are convinced that the pictographic image was the inspiration for hieroglyphic and alphabetic writing. A picture of a cow, might have stood symbolically for wealth, but over time the picture became more linear and abstracted to the point where the original pictograph became unrecognizable. The alphabet is an abstraction and so is much of what we do with it/them.

We all share a heritage that includes many fine and beautiful paintings dating from early civilizations. Instead of descending into a dark mysterious passageway (an adventure into the borderlands of life and death), we built pyramids to ascend to immortality in the stars. For thousands of years those paintings waited, perserved in darkness in a dry environment. "What do you see?" "Beautiful Things", the archaeologist exclaimed peering through a small hole into Tut's Tomb. Look at those images, and the figures do not accurately portray their subjects. They are abstractions that reflect a fashion and aesthetic that was meaningful to Ancient Egyptians. Art "created" the fusion between Man and Bull, Man and Nature, intended to symbolize something far more profound that a "true to life" portrait.

The Greeks version of art was in many ways more practical and down to earth. From Greece and Rome we have wonderful and beautiful statues so finely conceived and carved that we are stopped in our tracks to stare. Why so few paintings from Greece and Rome? There were plenty produced, but because of the nature of painting, almost nothing survives. What we have are mosaics, and abstracted symbols that were important to our ancestors. Portraiture reflecting the actuality of the subject begins to appear with a Roman practice (taken from Eygptian funerary caskets) of painting the deceased person's portrait on their coffin lid. Marvelous stuff.

After the Fall of Rome in the 5th century a thousand years would pass where images were reduced to cartoons and abstract symbols created more for proselytizing religon than aesthetics. "King", "Christ"/"Church", "Heaven and Hell", etc. Literacy had fallen on bad times, and church doctrine fell back on painted/drawn images that congregations could learn from. There was little effort to create a three dimensional space on a two dimensional surface, but there was almost always a story being told.

Painting and Art as teaching materials began to change around the time of the Italian Renaissance and the Plague. We all know about the invention of movable type, the introduction of gunpowder, and even the socio-economic effects of Plague and Rebirth. What is less well known is that the use of oil paints came into use. Oil paint is a friendlier and more robust media than what had been used before, and the range of expression increased. For about a thousand years, Art's purpose was to decorate churches and communicate the theological doctrines of the Western Christian Church. When paintings were made, they were large and painted onto the church walls. Frescos, the addition of pigments to wet plaster was the dominant style.

When individuals became more focused on themselves and the present as opposed to living totally for Kingdom when it came, the art of painting also shifted. Wealthy patrons wanted paintings that were more easily moved from one villa to another, so paintings began to be done on wooden panels and/or on stretched canvas. The subjects and aesthetics of painting also changed. Instead of a symbolic "Christ", we have a portraits depicting Lorenzo as a recognizable figure.

Later ... Chemotherapy for Natalie this morning,
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Old April 6th, 2017, 06:57 AM   #8
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art has never been about craftiness. it's very clear, if we think about its origin and purposes.
said that, western figurative art (after the classical age) reached two peaks in history, the first: between the xiii and the xvi centuries, the second one: approximately between 1863 and 1962. indeed, the bronze periods recur more often than the gold ones. i find it quite comforting.
still, it's hard to explain its exceptional poorness at the present time.

Last edited by lucian of samostata; April 6th, 2017 at 07:01 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:01 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Asherman View Post
As individuals we regard that as "Art" which conforms most nearly to our sense of aesthetics. The seed from which modern art descends can be seen painted deep inside dark caves.... That doesn't mean that the paintings are faithful renditions of particular subjects. The paintings instead use the uneven surface of rock to enhance the idea within the painter's mind....

We all share a heritage that includes many fine and beautiful paintings dating from early civilizations. Instead of descending into a dark mysterious passageway (an adventure into the borderlands of life and death), we built pyramids to ascend to immortality in the stars. For thousands of years those paintings waited, perserved in darkness in a dry environment. "What do you see?" "Beautiful Things", the archaeologist exclaimed peering through a small hole into Tut's Tomb.....

When individuals became more focused on themselves and the present as opposed to living totally for Kingdom when it came, the art of painting also shifted. Wealthy patrons wanted paintings that were more easily moved from one villa to another, so paintings began to be done on wooden panels and/or on stretched canvas. The subjects and aesthetics of painting also changed. Instead of a symbolic "Christ", we have a portraits depicting Lorenzo as a recognizable figure.

Later ... Chemotherapy for Natalie this morning,
Good sir, I thank you for your thoughtful reply, which I have quoted in parts. You have attempted to explain the history of art and provoked me to think further on this matter. My thoughts are below:

It is true modern paintings bear some resemblance to the cave paintings of old. Those very ancient paintings, though sometimes crude, deserve to be admired indeed, but why? Because the attempt was sincere and earnest, and because they present us with a touching story we would not have otherwise known. In like manner, all artists throughout the world and throughout history have attempted to aim at something higher and greater that would not only enrich them, but also endure beyond their lives. They called this art.

Nowadays, art has, as it is practised, become a means to make a quick and striking statement or image; modern art is not made to last, nor to please, nor to present a story. It has no particular or finished form, being de-formed; it is obscure rather than deep, absurd rather than profound, and careless rather than skillful. Modern artists are arrogant and expect to be paid, admired, enriched and remembered for the poor stuff they make. If cave paintings can be of any use, they ought to bring substance to modern art. Therefore, I would conclude by arguing that modern art (for the most part) can be explained, but should not be justified, encouraged or admired by any means.

Last edited by Andronikos; April 6th, 2017 at 11:32 AM.
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Old April 6th, 2017, 11:32 AM   #10

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Oh well, if we're going to look at it like that, then a work like this is a match for anything by an Old Master.

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