Monday, September 26, 2011

Max Monday

Here's a documentary on Max Beckmann which I found here. It's a BBC documentary, so some groans and eye rolls are to be expected. But for simply getting a big boatload of Beckmann, it's enjoyable to watch.

Update: Though it may be true that Beckmann sought to "compete" with the likes of Picasso and Matisse, when the host says that Beckmann rethought his original position on their work, it is not true. He despised their work to the end of his days.


love the girls said...

His art is grotesque.

Where as I picture Dorian Gray's image to be rational viciousness, his visual grotesqueness is the image of schizophrenia.

Paul Stilwell said...

What do you think of Georges Rouault?

love the girls said...

Paul Stilwell writes : "What do you think of Georges Rouault"

Recession from the light.

Aboriginal with an understanding of perspective and so forth.

There's something fundamentally flawed in intentionally producing awful ugly paintings. Just as we would say a chef is fundamentally flawed who intentionally prepares vile tasting dishes.

It's a corruption of the art no different than a doctor who uses his art as doctor to sadistically amputate healthy limbs of captured victims.

Paul Stilwell said...

You have an analogy for feeding and an analogy for healing. What shall be the analogy for disclosing truth? A lawyer examining a witness before the jury?

While there is a sense in which the artistic image can be said to heal, and a sense in which the artistic image can be said to feed, the artistic image is irreducible to either of those (including of course the lawyer analogy).

You're applying analogies to something which communicates its essential reality through being analogous: the artistic image.

The artistic image, as poetry, gains the power of its communicable reality through being analogous.

You agree that the painted image is inherently already abstract.

Chefs and doctors are analogies floundering at its shores.

If artists were to abide by those analogies they would produce art that neither healed nor fed.

Aquinas' definition of beauty as having harmony, proportion and luminosity is vulgarly understood if one thinks of it as a checklist - that is to say, if the artist thinks they have to appear in his art as a checklist by which the viewer can readily tick each box off. They can all be present in a way that is not explicit - or even implicit. Indeed, at times they can be present by their non-presence.

And yet there are works in which one could say all three are present and the work is absolute horror. Certainly you're aware that there's such a thing as hypocritical beauty, such as is found in the work of Gauguin and a host of others?

love the girls said...
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love the girls said...

Doctors and chefs were accidental to the argument, they could just as easily have been pilots and plumbers.

The point is any given art acts for a, specific to that art, properly ordered end. And that the practitioner of any given art is best able to both practice the art properly as well as best able to practice that same art improperly, i.e. doctors are better a poisoning because of their knowledge of the art of healing.

Fine artist, just like plumbers can't do what ever they want and call it fine art. That may be what is commonly done, but it's no more reasonable with fine artists than it is with plumbers.

While it may be easier to know the proper end of plumbing than it is to know the proper end of fine art, nevertheless we do have some sense of it by what it is not.

A pile of dog feces smashed about on a canvas is not the proper end of fine art no matter how nicely framed.

Georges Roualt may have the knowledge of the art, but he practices it as a deconstructionist practices the art of wheelwright by producing square wheels.

As for hypocritical beauty, never heard the term. Please bear in mind my knowledge of fine art fits on the back of a postage stamp, I look at is simply the same way I would any other subject.

I have looked at some length at Gauguin at various museums over the years and what was apparent from observation is he respected the dignity of those he painted. Where as the other artists do not respect the dignity of their subjects treating those they paint as if they are dog feces smeared about on their canvases.

Paul Stilwell said...

We're actually very much in agreement on many things here. I'm thinking about this subject, and would like to respond later.