| 10 June, 2014 11:32
As an artist, trained in classical drawing and oil painting, in the mid-20th Century, I turned to abstraction in 1968, having become a follower of Piet Mondrian. In fact, my real work in abstraction took flight in my studio in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
It troubles me that, artists are kept out of living in Major Cities. They now cater to the Wealthy Gentry, leaving the progress of Modern Art into an abyss.
After all, photography clearly took away the slavery to photorealism, and since 1850 the world of painting became alive with real experiments, impressionist, post-impressionism, expressionism, fauvism, modernism, that required originality and a careful return to the role of "stylist" not that of a documentary taker of that which exists before our eyes.
Then in 1917 came De Stijl, and the artists who made that movement great, Piet Mondrian and Theo Van Doesburg. By 1950, many artists were creating original works. The Museum of Modern Art was a place that all young artists went to feel the reach of modernism.
Architecture honored the geometric plasticity of form, and reached out through Frank Llyod Wright and Gerrit Rietveld. They made buildings that were extensions of their human nature, knowledgeable about art history, they did not copy past ideals. Rather, they took the bull by the horns and found an idiom they could apply. Today, modern, crass, distortions akin to Gaudi, but done in glass absurdly, sit upon copies of French Renaissance buildings of the 19th century.
The obvious lack of art communities has affected architecture.
After many years of CIA influence, abstract expressionism gained an unnatural favoritism, that was built by the CIA to show the Soviets we tolerated absurd “modernism”. Sadly, no one told the buyers about that, so they fell hook, line, and sinker for work that defiled many traditions, even good drawing was eliminated. By the mid 60’s Pop Art reinstated figurative images and helped restore plasticity to the Rectilinear Composition. Then came Minimal Art, straight from California, again, a movement in direct progress, from the early work of the 20th century.
Artists were forced out of the Great Cities by unfair housing prices; no longer did they meet at coffee houses or diners, to discuss their work. Art students have to pay to go to Museums now, they did not in the early 20th Century. Rent was strictly affordable from 1865 until 1975 and then came the “Gentrification Process”, know as “blockbusting” once.
Today, I see a plague of copy-catism in the fine arts. Aristotle claims all we artists merely copy nature to make art. It occurred to me, that all efforts to reproduce what reality shows us is totally Non-Original! It is not an original work of art if all it does is imitate realism.
When will artists realize there is nothing “original” to painting a realist bowl of flowers? There is nothing “original” to make a portrait, either. However, when an artist turns to the tools of their craft, and makes an image, abstract in every way, that artist has, unavoidably, created an “Original work of Art”.
Any camera can make a copy of reality, and a far better reality that the brush can render. Photography replaces the need for artists to try to impress others that they are capable of “copying” nature. I prefer a photograph of landscapes, and portraiture, even still lives.
I urge artists to give up making mere copies of nature to impress friends and family with their ability to “copy” rather than Create fully original works of art, using color, shapes, forms, totality of composition, and the communication of a totally new and different image, offering a broader example to the viewer of what Art really does best; to create entities that depend on not their similarity to thing we see, but their singular stature as original concepts.
I strongly urge artists to abandon this desire to be accepted by creating “cute” copies of what we all see around us, and turn their talents to the use of color and form to create fully Original Works of Abstract Art. that reveal something new to the viewer.