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Old 03-19-2007, 07:26 AM
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francis bacon francis bacon is offline
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Re: Is a knowledge of Art history important?

Originally Posted by francis bacon
stlukes: some girls like flowers--some girls like allusions to analytical cubism.

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Old 03-23-2007, 09:12 PM
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LordScorpius LordScorpius is offline
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Re: Is a knowledge of Art history important?

Do you need history to be a devoutly religous person? Do you need to understand the protocol of language in order to use it acceptably? Of course you do, in every way. Artists of renoun inspire "free thought" and "do whatever feels right" to PREVENT aspiring new Artists from emerging. What better way to ensure they are always in demand if the next generation can't produce a quality product! In the same manner that the ancient Catholics hide the knowledge of the scriptures from the masses thus creating the Dark Ages, Art is well into a second age of ignorance inspired by the collectively educated. The concept of having no real need for history nor theory nor skills evolution is the primary cause there hasn't been a second revival of world epic for painted Art. Even thoughout this Wet Canvas experience many professional quality Art producers extoll the view of history, education and especially technical ability as irrelevant to producing quality Art. A further complication is the counter-productive mentality of keeping the peace at the cost of honesty, even when raw honesty is required to fulfill the plea of "Please Help me become a better Artist".
Learning to draw from the historical human experience of the last 1,000 years is difficult. Learning to paint in perspective, even more so. But that is what history has taught us, HOW to draw, sculpt, paint and so on. Well, in today's educational model, 'difficult' equates to unnecessary and the system then becomes the enemy of the students in their true goal to progress. History? We don't need no stinkin' history! The battlecry of fools whose progression in Art will remain retarted or worse. Watch and see for yourself. Any mention towards the vast importance of learning Light logic and textural perspective is met with "Oh you don't need THAT... just PAINT. Just express yourself. It's lovely". I suppose there is a great deal of resentment even from students who have taken the financial burdon of attending the best educational systems they can afford only to see the common world slopping paint across a canvas and calling it "art". The payback to society is far more devasting than the offense however. There is no inspiration to follow history as a teacher and how sad is that? Try learning a language without the protocols which are required. It is impossible or at best highly disrespected and considered a result of poverty and/or ignorance. Thus, I fail to understand how "self expression" or whatever they call it can be a substitute for historically acquired information about Art. Even the basic concept of the need for decent draftsman skills as a painter is not respected in the chaos market of today.
The sad, end result is the pided piper leading the new would-be artists off the cliff of delusion into the ocean of despair. "Beautiful, Lovely, Wonderful, I love it"... the treason against our own history.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:01 PM
bschart bschart is offline
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Re: Is a knowledge of Art history important?

I hear a lot of bitterness that may or may not be on point.
Has art been produced by isolated, uneducated individuals? Of course. Would an educated artist choose to be ignorant? Of course not.
Postmodernism, which produces so much distain is dependant upon intimate and extensive knowledge of art history. Does that make it profound? Most of the Pop artists were technically adept but according to some critics they brought about the "end of Art history".
It is the individual artists responsibilty to find the teachers, seek out the inspirations and develop the skills that will advance their vision. If all an artist wants is the appaulse of their family and friends they don't have to do much. All the effort in the world won't guarentee you one compliment. Make yourself the best your capable of then try harder. Some schools don't meet your needs? Some teachers are incompetant? Guess what, it's always been that way. During the Victorian era most educated individuals had at least the basics in drawing and watercolor and as much crap was produced in that era as in ours.
Personally, I wanted to paint because of paintings by others that I had seen and loved. Rembrandt, Velaquez, Bosch, Breughel, Fra Angelico, Van Gogh, Cezanne, Matisse, De Kooning, Sillman, Bates and Dodd. I want to join in. Thats just me. I look at everything I can because I know that it will add to my visual data bank. Everyone makes their own choices and take their own chances. No guarentees. So learn art history or not. Its your choice. But you have to wonder, if you're not interested in the history of you're chosen passion. Is it really your passion?
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Old 03-24-2007, 11:35 AM
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Re: Is a knowledge of Art history important?

I must agree with Bruce in agreeing that now is no different than any time in history with regard to the ratio of good to bad art. My own knowledge of art history has allowed me to regognize the fact that most art is mediocre at best and it has almost always been thus. Perhaps with our greater wealth and free time we have more amateur artists than in any other time in history... but I would suggest that the ratio of good to bad is not much different among "professionals" than it is among the part-time painters. I personally value the art history knowldge that I have amassed over time as well as the traditional drawing skills developed over 5 years of intense art school classes (and beyond) which demanded I develop a certain mastery of rendering form, perspective (1, 2, and 3 point, as well as perspective of shadows and even of spiral staircases), anatomy, physiology, etc... I value these skills even if I do not employ them now or in the future because they give me more options as an artist. I do not believe, however, that these or any specific skills are an absolute necessity for the creation of great art. The medieval artists (and I most certainly avoid the term "dark ages" for the very reason that anyone professing the importance of a knowledge of art history would recognize the fact that the era which produced the brilliant Gothic cathedrals with their glorious stained glass windows and fabulous sculptured niches and tympanum, the beautiful illuminated manuscripts, etc... etc... was anything but a "dark" age) created works of powerful and expressive art without the least mastery of anatomy, perspective or illusionism. The same is true of the Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic painters, the sculptors of Meso-America, etc... Certainly there are lazy artists... artists who imagine that the least scrawl or splash of paint is expressive. At the same time there is certainly no shortage of artists who are deeply knowledgeable of art history, know all the techniques and recipies of the old masters who produce nothing but tired, vapid, empty, boring art which immitates that of their artistic idols but certainly never comes close to matching or supassing them. Then... amazingly... among this all there are always those who succeed in creating something new... something of great expressiveness. Such artists will always exist and such artist will always develop and master those skills they feel are needed to their art.
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty—that is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know." - John Keats
"Modern art is what happens when painters stop looking at girls and persuade themselves that they have a better idea."- John Ciardi
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Old 03-19-2019, 10:20 AM
abstract painter abstract painter is offline
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Re: Is a knowledge of Art history important?

a little knowledge of art history never hurt anyone , i’m a history freak anyway ..... so I enjoy it .

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