Sunday, 15 August 2010
Modern Art – 1880 to present – the museum of modern art. (John Elderfield, ed.)
I got this one ages ago when I actually visited MoMa in New York. The MoMa itself is a horrible experience, ways too crowded and somehow very sterile and less fun than the Tate Modern in London for example. Thus I left quickly, bought this book, so I have a chance to catch up on all.
And it turned out to be very interesting: “Basically, art is making meaning. In a sense, it’s philosophy made concrete.” (Duchamp). And as theorists artists seem to be very good at writing aphorisms: fun little theory sniplets. Here you go:
For Picasso “Cubism was a kind of deliverance. It obliged him consistently to forgo the refuge of virtuosity.“
“Leger argued that art must acknowledge its time not through the naturalistic representation of contemporary subject matter (“visual realism”) but by transforming that subject matter through explicitly pictorial devices – “a realism of conception”.
For Duchamp “there is a brief to be made as an artist against certain forms, because those forms constitute fixed meanings. Ready-mades that are naturalized as the language of art are not seen, in fact, as ready-made”
“The style he (Malevich) called Suprematism, which eliminated all references to the world of visible reality, leaving only the purely pictorial elements” (Elderfield, 2004, p.200).
Mondrian “felt that naturalistic forms in painting were limited forms by the very definition of their specific references (…) He wanted to destroy the particular form”” (Elderfield, 2004, p.206).
Surrealism is a “pure psychic automatism, by which one intends to express verbally, in writing or by any other method the real functioning of the mind. Dictation by thought, in the absence of any control exercised by reason, and beyond any aesthetic or moral preoccupation”.
Magritte said “My painting have no reducible meaning; they are a meaning” (Elderfield, 2004, p.221).
On Rothko: “We no longer look at a painting as we did in the nineteenth century, we are meant to enter it, to sink into its atmosphere of mist light or to draw it around us like a coat – or a skin.” (Elderfield, 2004, p.311).