Part of the curriculum at the New York Academy of Art requires students to do a bit of writing. I thought I’d take the opportunity to give myself a bit of context on the contemporary art world from a historical perspective. Art really is in a denegrated and marginalized position at the moment. Eric Fischl talks about how this is leading to a sort of visual illiteracy in the general public. Anyhow, while not terribly uplifing reading, I feel it’s pretty fair accounting of how art was viewed 700 years ago and how that view has changed over time. If anyone out there actually does bother to read it, I’d love to hear what you think (even if you disagree).
The Exile of High Art and the Effect on the Picture Plane (PDF).
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Your essay is very well organized, I learned alot from it. I knew about Leon Batista Albertie from a Danny Devito movie called The Renessanse Man. Andy and I must have watched it 100x. If you had your choice in which period of art would you have liked to have been born? I especially liked your last sentence because man was created in God’s image.
Much love, Mom
I stumbled onto your website while looking for information on pigments that I could refer my watercolor students to. Art for the last century has been a little bit like Alice lost in wonderland. If you do not know which way you are going, it really doesn’t matter much which way you go. We have gone through some iconoclastic times. Being an iconoclast is not all bad, but being an iconoclast who has no vision, nor anything much to believe in leaves you with a person who is standing in room looking at all the smashed furniture and perplexed at what to do next. The art form has become the smashing of icons. (Smashing Icons wouldn’t be a bad name for a Portland or Seattle band…)
I can’t help but think that part of the problem is really one of marketplace accountability in a grant based art culture that allows and sanctions results that normal people of average intelligence would not buy. Music and movies are both driven more by the marketplace. (I could argue that the quality of current music has drifted off into the direction of smashing icons also, and music sales are down…)
Art is and ought to be quantifiable and transcendant and is not really in the eye of the beholder. I don’t much care for Peter Paul Rubens, but he’s still a great painter and artist.
Good essay, good web site,
a. leon miler