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Old 03-31-2017, 03:31 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Composition---outdated?

In discussing a local art show, it was mentioned that on Oahu (the "big city" island) art shows have moved away from painting and other static art to installations.

"When the show is over, everything is packed up and put away in closets. The idea of a work of art lasting for centuries is over."

It seems as if the need for a good composition might be over too: to me, it's perhaps not so important, or has a different significance, in something you walk through. But mainly, I think of composition as what remains when all the narrative is worn out, or not relevant any more.

The teacher also noted: "This is what's happening to our society [culture]. You do something, then it's gone. If you want to know where we're going, look to art."

I felt a little depressed by this. Comments? Especially, anything POSITIVE to add?
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Old 03-31-2017, 05:20 PM
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Re: Composition---outdated?

There are always "movements" in art, which, to justify their credibility, have to say everything before and outside their "movement" is invalid and worthless.

Go to any good art museum. Walk around. Check out the dates, styles and acquisition values of the paintings on display. Art survives! And has for hundreds and hundreds of years...

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Old 03-31-2017, 07:43 PM
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Alerio Alerio is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

I've noticed that in shows too, but I don't think it has anything to do with composition. Installations are installed, and therefor composed! Even if they are disposed of later.
I think it is quite possible that shows in mid-sized cities away from the main centers of art are trying to show that they are "relevant" or "fresh" or "young" or whatever, so their donors will keep writing checks, knowing that the board is doing something meaningful and keeping up with the times. So more boxes of blocks and bubble-wrap, and fewer paintings. I don't think it symbolizes the collapse of civilization

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Old 03-31-2017, 08:23 PM
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virgil carter virgil carter is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

The collapse of civilization is not eminent.

Keep painting!

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Old 03-31-2017, 08:46 PM
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Re: Composition---outdated?

I'm no expert on the subject (my disclaimer before a winded response ). However, by my understanding composition will never be "outdated" anymore than the principles and elements of art. A composition is how an artist leads the audience through and to the focal point and supporting elements of the art piece. This is true regardless of visual art pieces on canvas, or music, theatre stage settings / actor positions and it remains just as true for a staged 3d art installation that an audience traverses through. It is in that traversing and navigating that the audience experiences the composed elements/parts (composition) of the installation. The order of things, so to speak. The installation composition is adding physical positioning of the audience as an element to the piece. Regardless, it still utilizes the artists skills at directing the flow of the eye as the audience takes in the sites.

How long a particular piece of art work lasts is completely dependent on the materials & mediums artists choose and I can tell you, like anyone else around here, that canvas and artist-grade papers are still #1 choices for practicing and professional artists. It is also entirely dependent on how long the artist wants it around, in serving his/her message or purpose. I'll agree a majority of our society is "throw away" and no longer holds value to things like we used to (in USA). Perhaps some art can indeed reflect this attribute. But I believe humanity cannot be separated from culture and art. Art itself is completely exempt from being "throw away" (with exception of maybe commercial art, as well as pop art when the times have moved on... but only to come back again as retro!). Art "relevance" is completely dependent on whether there is an audience for the piece in question or not. People actively taking an interest in all forms of the arts are just as vast in number and diversified as "Art" itself. After all, art reflects life and life reflects art

Beyond that context, I would not take the teachers comments as hard truth in all matters of art, but rather a heartfelt perspective from that individual's experiences with the current trends (socially & culturally). For the record, I agree with the assertion to a point. But humanity and cultures are always evolving... as is art.

On a positive note: create happy art, make happy life, influence happy culture. Art reflects life reflects art, in practice

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Old 04-01-2017, 04:34 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

Thanks, all! (I just hate that going-down-the-toilet feeling.)

I think you're right, the urge to "sling paint" goes hand-in-hand with appreciating the results.

As for the composition of installations, well, maybe. I've only experienced a few, and after you entered the gallery, you could approach the work from many directions; or one where you entered a room and sat down. (Cotton all over the walls and ceiling.) So "composition" was minimal. But I can see where you could have a "guided tour" approach.
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Old 04-22-2017, 03:31 AM
ampris ampris is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

I am new to the actual painting but I know that even as a child I was awed by the ability of others to put an array of colors on a canvas and make a beautiful picture. I did not think of it as a composition. I just know what I liked to look at. As an adult I go into businesses and peoples homes and everywhere there are painting or photo of places and things. Each to the taste of that individual. They may be wrapped and put aside at times, but they are still pulled out and admired again and again. They stay in our minds to be recalled with remembrances of happiness, of times in the past when we were happy . I recall with clarity a painting of a meadow with deer in the meadow and some just emerging out of the trees. I loved to look at that painting and believe I was watching the deer come out of the trees. I always counted them to make sure they were all safe. I now have this painting in my own home. Maybe that is why I prefer to do landscapes the most. maybe in my newness I am getting the meaning of composition wrong. but this is my thoughts on paintings
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:01 AM
wdaniels wdaniels is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

The fact that most people on this forum are interested in creating work that lasts, and thousands of people are still doing traditional work, puts a lie to that. What happens in the mainstream art world might have relevance to museum directors, dealers, the artists they support, connoisseurs, and collectors who buy that stuff, but I don't think it has much relevance to anyone else.
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Old 04-26-2017, 08:43 AM
tiago.dagostini tiago.dagostini is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeLing
In discussing a local art show, it was mentioned that on Oahu (the "big city" island) art shows have moved away from painting and other static art to installations.

"When the show is over, everything is packed up and put away in closets. The idea of a work of art lasting for centuries is over."

It seems as if the need for a good composition might be over too: to me, it's perhaps not so important, or has a different significance, in something you walk through. But mainly, I think of composition as what remains when all the narrative is worn out, or not relevant any more.

The teacher also noted: "This is what's happening to our society [culture]. You do something, then it's gone. If you want to know where we're going, look to art."

I felt a little depressed by this. Comments? Especially, anything POSITIVE to add?

Just ignore that... the vast majority of self called artist elites are just failures that pack themselves together to define a new standard to justify their failures.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:49 AM
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Re: Composition---outdated?

Composition is very important - but not simply the 'rule of thirds' for anything and everything.

I prefer to control (or try to) the way that the eye moves around the painting. Degas was a brilliant example of working this way with some very very unusual compositions - that work brilliantly. There's also the matter of balance - a tiny patch of vibrant colour balances a larger patch of subtlety and you can use it to lead the eye where you want.

One of the early exercises at uni was analysing the directions in paintings, how they moved your eye, how things linked, how dark/light or bright colour etc balanced How the artist controlled how you read the painting
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:13 PM
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Re: Composition---outdated?

to play with the notion of the brilliance of degas ... i did some deconstructed comp/values thumbnails, thanks for the inspiration.
[out of order images and the dark horse got too literal - good study tho]

la
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:44 PM
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Re: Composition---outdated?

I think the whole idea that When the show is over, everything is packed up and put away in closets.The idea of a work of art lasting for centuries is over is elitist and narrowminded.

I notice that a lot of art is sold or presented without any money transaction outside the «art scene» these days. Creative people will express themselves: on gigantic walls, murals are being painted everywhere; or thru installations; or by creating virtual worlds. All of these means have in common the desire to immerse, engulf, the viewer. Some are deliberatly short lived, but I find IMHO that a lot of what we see out there is a reaction to the ephemeral and enclosed world of technology... some are embrassing it, others are rejecting it. both they are definately reacting to it.

Also, an aspect I see that has changed and that could explain buyer behavior could be the spirituality that has changed in a lot of countries. People have a different perspective on life these days. I find that some may consider that all ends at the end of their life. Could that be why people will invest more money in a tatoo that will last a lifetime but will be hesitant to invest in a painting that could last for generations?

In all of these instances, composition is important. some more challenging like the creation of a tatoo which has to reflect the client's request and fit the bodypart or on a mural that is set in a community, or evenin an installation.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:15 PM
TheLibrarian TheLibrarian is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

As others have said composition still exists in large installations. I was on a tour of Philadelphia's murals and found out they're made of huge parachute cloth and then wall papered on the buildings. Even the directly painted on ones are exposed to the elements and have a limited life span.

Any public art piece that is going to last is going to have to be sculpture of metal and these too will need upkeep.

In my new to painting studies I am more disheartened by the fact that phone screens are light creators jam packed with millions of bright pixels making photography and paintings seem much nicer on screen than the same piece viewed in real life. I just wanted to paint with a brush and get dirty not sit at another computer screen after a day of sitting at a computer screen.

The technology has also changed photography. The old pros lament the massive influx of photographs now that most of us have a camera in our pockets at all times now. Not sure if something similar is happening to painting. Many people certainly have more ability to share their work. For example, I have to navigate around this site looking for things to talk about not just critiquing other peoples stuff.

Where I work has a small gallery and we have local paintings and other static work on display though we may be behind the times and the artists take their stuff home after a few weeks.

I do feel that the lasting for centuries bit is behind us. Many sellers of art supplies say you need archival quality stuff but really I'm not so sure anyone cares especially with the sheer amount of stuff out there today unless you create a new movement or something which is the way it's always been. Plenty of imitators have already been lost to the pages of history but I can imagine it will become harder to stand out and be worth keeping.

the positive in this... mega corporations paying hacks to put up a bunch of flags in the park... no too bitter... some of the stuff is amazing and somebodies getting paid to put something up for a little while then they (mega corporations/ govt arts councils) pay someone else to put something else up later on. Downside is you can't do that kind of stuff without funding and permission though the wall street bull was dropped in the middle of the night at the expense of the artist from what I hear.

I also suspect art instructors especially talking about theory talk just to talk and observations about our disposable fast food society may seem poignant to the cynic in us. I would also say the viewing public would like to see new fresh stuff... finally the plus side being that more people are viewing and appreciating art even if they are philistines with no knowledge or appreciation for good art.

Last edited by TheLibrarian : 05-17-2017 at 03:25 PM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:01 PM
BeLing BeLing is offline
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Re: Composition---outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ladysue
I think the whole idea that When the show is over, everything is packed up and put away in closets.The idea of a work of art lasting for centuries is over is elitist and narrowminded.

. . .In all of these instances, composition is important. some more challenging like the creation of a tatoo which has to reflect the client's request and fit the bodypart....

I don't quite understand "elitist and narrowminded"--- do you mean on the part of the artist or the teacher-as-critic? He was feeling kind of sad, I think. He's a painter and ceramicist, and like most of us, would like his work to outlive him.

Your mention of tattoos is very much what I had in mind: unlike La's wonderful studies of Degas, which show (to me, anyway) deliberate planning and weighing of elements, tattoos flow over the body, allowed to move where they must. Like public performance art, a lot is left to chance, and this is embraced, for chance=life, you could say.

I agree that composition is important; but I'm feeling that in many cases, in the most post-post-post contemporary scenes, in what many young artists are doing, thinking and feeling, composition "happens" rather than is something they deliberately build.

I don't want to put a value on this! Not good OR bad! Just mulling out some thoughts, wondering if indeed this ultra-up-to-date art is an indication of where society/culture/humans are going.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:00 AM
theBongolian theBongolian is online now
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Re: Composition---outdated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiago.dagostini
Just ignore that... the vast majority of self called artist elites are just failures that pack themselves together to define a new standard to justify their failures.
That sounds a little harsh.

First -I have never heard of anyone calling themself an "artist elite".

Second- Artists have historically "packed themselves together" to advance a new aesthetic. Think impressionists, cubists, favists, surrealists, etc.

Third - you are RIGHT about the vast majority being "failures". It is a venture that many more times than not is going to fail. But I don't think the correct response is to "ignore" them. Now having said that... I too can't stand most of what is put forward today as "the next best thing" but I try not to wear my jealousy on my sleeve.
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