05 December 2005

Art & Art Criticism

For those of you who have been following my meagre attempt to break down the situation of contemporary art, there is a related article in this month's The New Criterion by James Panero. The article requires registration to read it, but registration is free until December 31 (after that your registration will expire and you will have to pay for access).

The New Criterion is a rather interesting publication, which is self-admittedly modernist in its orientation. I have a strong admiration for their often curmudgeonly slant, but I find their perpetuation of the modernist position somewhat difficult. The article partially addresses this concern, as you will see if you read it.

For people such as myself seeking to get away from both modernism and postmodernism, there don't seem to be many options. I think that there is a rising laissez-faire attitude where everyone is allowed to do what pleases them best and the result is often a hybrid of modernism and postmodernism. I find this position, if not outrightly intellectually dishonest, at least intellectually facile.

But here's a thought: Maybe the problem lies not with the artists, the critics and the art historians, but the patrons. More on this to come!

2 comments:

MM said...

Patrons would probably be so flattered that you find them so formative- arent they shaped by the culture and trends??? DO YOU KNOW how many Dallas socialites own this dark, dark, stuff only because its "supposed" to be tres sophistiscee'...

Garland said...

Perhaps I should have said that the solution lies, or could lie, with the patrons. Currently, high art is made and consumed by a very small number of people. Usually the role of patron is filled in part by museums, critics, and to some extent, artists themselves. These peope dictate the the content of a work of art, both in its forms and ideas. Therefore, the role of patronage must be assessed and repositioned in order for the "art world" to be transformed. There is one patron in particular which I am thinking of...