WetCanvas
Home Member Services Content Areas Tools Info Center WC Partners Shop Help
Channels:
Search for:
in:

Welcome to the WetCanvas forums. You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions, articles and access our other FREE features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload your own photos and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please visit our help center.

Go Back   WetCanvas > The Think Tank > Art History Discussions
User Name
Password
Register Mark Forums Read

Salute to our Partners
WC! Sponsors

Our Sponsors
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #91   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-12-2010, 07:23 PM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Of course I don't question the value of mastering the sort of skills as found in the ARC-type painters: the more skills you have, the more possibilities are open to you.

And yet you scoffed when I said the same thing about Michelangelo and Rembrandt.

"The more skills you have, the more possibilities are open to you." This does not mean that the more skills you have the better of an artist you will inherently be. Giotto is 100 times the artist as Vasari. Van Gogh is far better than Bouguereau. Neither does having a set body of skills mean employing them on all occasions. Michelangelo quite likely had a mastery of linear perspective and could draw the landscape as well as the figure... but he doesn't employ these. His focus is upon the ability to convey emotion through the gestures and sculptural forms of the human body... almost like a dancer. These background elements are superfluous to his intentions and as a result he plays them down. By the same token one might assume that Rembrandt, as a Dutchman, exposed to the great tradition of Netherlandish/Flemish painting... including his elder Flemish peer, Rubens, would have a clear notion of the capabilities of jewel-like color. But Rembrandt chose to work in a tonal manner... employing great contrasts between light and dark and using this to sculpt the forms. The vast majority of tonal painters employ a limited... even monochromatic color scheme... for the simple reason that combining tonalism with a broad array of color leads to a certain garishness... unless the forms are flattened and simplified ala Beckmann, Matisse, Gauguin, etc... who also employ the element of black outlines to anchor the colors.

There are any number of artists who mastered the same skills and to the same level as Michelangelo, Bernini, and Ingres... and produced little that is truly memorable.

Examples? When it comes to Michelangelo, the only two person's I can think of who mastered the same skill set to his level are Leonardo and Raphael, but slightly below that would be guys like Bronzino





Giambologna would seem to have skills in sculpting and understanding the human form that in no way inferior to Michelangelo and Bernini... and yet his sculpture rarely rises to the level of either artist. One might say the same of Cellini... and yet in both instances these are artists who remain somewhat well-known. How many artists worked along side of Giambologna and had the same body of skills... built upon the examples of Michelangelo, Leonardo, etc... and now are largely forgotten? What of Pietro Francavilla?



Or Pietro Tacca?



Or if we look at painting as you note the immediate heirs of Michelangelo and Raphael are in no way inferior in the body of skills the bring to the table: mastery of anatomy, perspective, the ability to render form in an illusionistic manner, etc... and yet while they produced some memorable works are they on the level of the Sistine or the School of Athens? And once again... these are still artists well-respected today. What of the even less-known painters?

What of Fray Juan Bautista Maino? (A perfect example of the near garishness of bringing a broad color array to a painting that also has a high degree of contrast in value... the eye in no way focuses as it does with Rembrandt, Caravaggio, or Velasquez.)



What of Adolf Mengs?



Are we to believe that the only reason he is largely unknown outside of art historical circles is that his skills are grossly inferior to Ingres? Then why do Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Botticelli still resonate with us?
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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
Reply With Quote
  #92   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-12-2010, 11:37 PM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Well, there went an hour and a half.
Reply With Quote
  #93   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 12:49 AM
brianvds's Avatar
brianvds brianvds is offline
A Local Legend
Pretoria
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,913
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
And again... the mastery of technique and craft is nothing to sneeze at. It certainly lends a further level of awe to Michelangelo's Pieta, Bernini's Apollo and Daphne, or the paintings of Ingres... but it alone is not what makes art memorable.

I would think that technical skill in visual art is somewhat analogous to virtuosity in music. There is something very glorious about virtuosity for its own sake, and indeed the more of it you have the more avenues of musical expression are open to you. But it does not in itself make for great music.

Quote:
Again... those who argue that what Van Gogh does is simple have little understanding of art and one can rest assured, they have achieved little that resonates as well as most of Van Gogh's paintings. One first might note that nearly every original creation seems far easier after the fact... but to suggest that anyone could paint like Van Gogh, or write a sonata like Mozart, or a poem like one of William Blake's Songs of Experience completely misses the mark. Imitation or an artistic language is always far easier than invention. Yet beyond this, I would second the assertion that painting like Van Gogh not only involves understanding the mechanics of how he painted... it also involves having a good eye and a good touch. He has a marvelous sense of color harmony... he is one of the greatest colorists... employing unheard of colors (off greens, yellows, blues, etc...)... but harmonizing them so well that one might never recognize how his colors are far more original than most Fauve paintings... rather as Ingres' mastery of color is often ignored in the shadow of his compositional and drawing skills. Van Gogh is just as masterful in his touch... employing a variety of calligraphic marks in a manner that recalls Rembrandt's ink wash drawings and prints, Chinese and Japanese painting, and Japanese woodblock prints.

It has occurred to me that Van Gogh's style is rooted not so much in his use of colour as in his drawing style, which shows itself in all his work. If he painted a picture in monochrome it would still have been very recognizable as his work. So perhaps when his imitators go wild with colour, they are barking up the wrong tree. At least some of those who incorporated his style into their own work did so successfully. I think, for example, of a Canadian artist whose name has now slipped out of memory - I think he was a member of "The Seven." But he did not so much borrow Van Gogh's colours as his swirling brush strokes, i.e. he perhaps took over more from Van Gogh's drawing than from his painting, and that is probably just how it should be.

Quote:
Most of Prendergast's works, from what I recall, were quite small... like most watercolors. 12 x 18" or 18 x 24" being among the larger works with a good many in the 6 x 9" range... although I do recall a few larger works... although nothing "epic". I agree that watercolors can be easily overworked and there is something to be said for the light, fresh, spontaneous approach. Indeed... one might argue that such deftness of touch and spontaneity is what lends strength to not only Van Gogh but even a painter such as Rubens and Veronese. There is nothing wrong with the meticulous and labor-intensive, perfectly composed paintings of Vermeer and Ingres... but there is just as much skill involved... if not more... in the more unforgiving spontaneous approach.

I have always found it interesting that the one technique Van Gogh did not have much success with was watercolour. Not that he seems to have tried the medium much. But one might have thought that its spontaneous nature would have appealed to him. Somehow it apparently didn't.
__________________
__________________________
http://brianvds.blogspot.co.za/

Last edited by brianvds : 06-13-2010 at 12:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #94   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 12:55 AM
brianvds's Avatar
brianvds brianvds is offline
A Local Legend
Pretoria
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 8,913
 
Hails from South Africa
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stlukesguild
Are we to believe that the only reason he is largely unknown outside of art historical circles is that his skills are grossly inferior to Ingres? Then why do Giotto, Fra Angelico, and Botticelli still resonate with us?

That is of course a question that has occupied philosophers for ages. If we knew the answer, we could have produced masterpieces on an assembly line. ;-)
__________________
__________________________
http://brianvds.blogspot.co.za/
Reply With Quote
  #95   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 02:15 AM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

I would think that technical skill in visual art is somewhat analogous to virtuosity in music. There is something very glorious about virtuosity for its own sake, and indeed the more of it you have the more avenues of musical expression are open to you. But it does not in itself make for great music.

Exactly. Paganini was a phenomenal virtuoso... unrivaled in his time. He composed some of the most incredibly virtuosic pieces for violin... and they have a certain degree of merit... but they cannot touch Mozart... who by all standards composed music that was far simpler. Indeed, the opening movement of Beethoven's "Moonlight" sonata is so "simple" that at one time I could play it on the guitar (as musically stunted as I am)... yet it clearly speaks far more than anything by Paganini. Again, this does not mean the virtuosity is inherently a detriment, either. J.S. Bach, by all reports, was a phenomenal virtuoso of the keyboard (especially the organ) and composed some of the most difficult music to perform (the Partitas and Sonatas for Unaccompanied Violin, the organ compositions, the Well Tempered Clavier, etc...) yet his music is far more than mere virtuosity.

A great many built upon Van Gogh's "tortured" brushwork: Munch, Picasso, Soutine, DeKooning, Beckmann... even Charles Burchfield. Those who were successful in building upon Van Gogh went beyond a mere imitation of his technique. Personally I find Van Gogh to be as much of a brilliant colorist as Matisse, Bonnard, or Degas. Like all great colorists he has developed a certain color harmony and employs certain colors that are almost immediately recognizable as being his own... much as can be said of Matisse, Bonnard, etc... as well as Vermeer, Veronese, or Rubens. Like Bonnard, he often strikes us initially as employing the most strident and brilliant of colors... but on closer inspection we find that these are often tempered with muted and even pastel hues, earth tones, and grays.

I have always found it interesting that the one technique Van Gogh did not have much success with was watercolour. Not that he seems to have tried the medium much. But one might have thought that its spontaneous nature would have appealed to him. Somehow it apparently didn't.

Except for Cezanne, watercolor doesn't seem to have appealed to any of the major French Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The Romantics made far greater use of it... but one suspects that this was their one avenue to the most spontaneous and even plein air approach to painting. Turner, Constable, Delacroix, and Friedrich all employed watercolors in painting rapidly from life. The Impressionists... and later Van Gogh all employed oils when painting plein air. Cezanne... the one exception... approached painting from life in a long drawn out and deliberate manner not unlike the older studio painters. Watercolor afforded him a spontaneous outlet.
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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
Reply With Quote
  #96   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 04:11 AM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

This does not mean that the more skills you have the better of an artist you will inherently be.

How many of Michelangelo's skills can you take away before he stops being good? You still need something to work with, and I believe that the very best artists like Da Vinci, Raphael, Carravaggio, Botticelli, and your beloved Picasso had a lot of tools to draw upon. They weren't studying all those different styles and techniques for their health. There is a correlation between how much you know about art and how good you are at it.

I don't believe you are arguing that there are no basic necessary areas of knowledge and skills requisite for an artist to create great art. I don't think you would argue that a person doesn't need to know anything to create masterpieces. How few skills do you believe a person needs to be really good at before he's a top level artist. One? Is color enough on it's own? Is composition? Set out your bare minimum and we'll have something to talk about. I think that a great artist tends to have many skills polished to an exceptionally high level.

Giotto is 100 times the artist as Vasari.


There I think you exaggerate. This

isn't a 100 times as good as this


But Rembrandt chose to work in a tonal manner... employing great contrasts between light and dark and using this to sculpt the forms. The vast majority of tonal painters employ a limited... even monochromatic color scheme... for the simple reason that combining tonalism with a broad array of color leads to a certain garishness... unless the forms are flattened and simplified ala Beckmann, Matisse, Gauguin, etc... who also employ the element of black outlines to anchor the colors.

With the exception of guys like Rubens, Tintoretto, Gerrit Dou, and a handful of others, you might be right. The point is, I've seen it done and done well. With your superior knowledge of art history, I'm surprised you haven't come up with plenty of examples where the use of chiaroscuro and color have mixed with splendid results. The only reason I can find is that you're ideologically dead set against it; so you construct a strawman and produce tons of mediocre artists who couldn't make a decent painting anyway and call that proof. Lots of difficult techniques are above lame artists' heads. That doesn't mean they're impossible.

Weren't you just discussing with Brian how Van Gogh's use of colors defies conventional wisdom about what should and shouldn't work? There you go. If you're good enough, you can bend the rules.

Giambologna would seem to have skills in sculpting and understanding the human form that in no way inferior to Michelangelo and Bernini... and yet his sculpture rarely rises to the level of either artist.

In the post I lost I had a laundry list of things which I thought Giambologna didn't do as well as Bernini, but I'll be honest and admit that I'm not a trained sculptor. I don't know what exactly the skills you need to be a great sculptor are other than understanding anatomy and weilding a chisel, but I'm sure that a professional sculptor would be able to tell me lots of things that Giambologna doesn't do as well as those other masters.

What's wrong with the
Pietro Francavilla? The proportions...the pose...the mullet?

What of Adolf Mengs?


Isn't his name Anton Raphael Mengs, or am I thinking of a different guy? If it's the same guy I'm thinking of, I rather like some of his work, just like I like Bouguereau's. They are fine examples of what is possible for uncreative, non-geniuses to achieve if they have discipline and intelligence. I know you are fond of that quote "Art is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration" and I think that 99 percent is often the hard work that goes into study, practice, and technique.

You say that what makes artists great isn't simply their mastery of techniques and styles, but how great would Bach have been if he hadn't learned contrapuntal technique? Much of what we admire in Michelangelo's David would be lost if he had never studied contrapposto. You need a wide variety of skills, you need some range, in order to be one of the all time greatest masters. Take away enough skills and the artist has nothing to work with. If Bach couldn't compose a fugue, cantata, or concerto would he still be a musical giant to rival Beethoven and Mozart?
Reply With Quote
  #97   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 12:47 PM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Use to denote nudity/mature subject matter Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

How many of Michelangelo's skills can you take away before he stops being good? You still need something to work with, and I believe that the very best artists like Da Vinci, Raphael, Carravaggio, Botticelli, and your beloved Picasso had a lot of tools to draw upon. They weren't studying all those different styles and techniques for their health. There is a correlation between how much you know about art and how good you are at it.

I don't believe you are arguing that there are no basic necessary areas of knowledge and skills requisite for an artist to create great art. I don't think you would argue that a person doesn't need to know anything to create masterpieces. How few skills do you believe a person needs to be really good at before he's a top level artist. One? Is color enough on it's own? Is composition? Set out your bare minimum and we'll have something to talk about. I think that a great artist tends to have many skills polished to an exceptionally high level.


The issue is that there are a broad range of "skills" employed by the artist. Common to all artists there is the need for a mastery of composition and an ability to utilize various abstract elements (color, line, value, etc...) to successfully communicate the desired goal. Beyond this the skills vary from artist to artist. Is an understanding of perspective necessary? It was marvelously effective in Raphael's School of Athens... but Van Eyck, Van der Weyden, and the whole of pre-Renaissance art got along without it. What of a mastery of anatomy? It's essential if such is essential to the artist's work. Van der Weyden (again), the whole of Medieval art, the sculptors of India, etc... got along fine without it. Because Picasso or Matisse or Paul Klee lack... or simply do not employ the same body of skills as Michelangelo... (or let's be fair, Michelangelo sets an impossibly high standard... even for his peers with similar training)... or Veronese or Andrea del Sarto is not proof that Picasso, Matisse, or Klee are inherently inferior artists to Michelangelo, Veronese, or del Sarto. We wouldn't criticize the artisans who created the great rose window of Chartres or the architect of the same cathedral for lacking the same body of skills as the Renaissance painter. Modernist painting involves a body of skills that are often no less removed from those of Renaissance painting just as the skills needed by the Baroque composer were different from those needed by the Romantic composer or by Duke Ellington and Miles Davis.

Giotto is 100 times the artist as Vasari.

There I think you exaggerate. This isn't a 100 times as good as this.

How many times greater is it? Beyond the mere innovations and originality (none of which Vasari has... outside of his writings) of Giotto who is often credited as giving birth to the Renaissance, Giotto's paintings continue to resonate. They powerfully and simply convey the drama and emotion. Is that image by Vasari at all memorable? Is it something that will stick in your mind? To me it seems but a wall of noise... not unlike the heavy metal guitarists who imagine that the faster they play and the more notes they squeeze into a bar, the better the music is.

With the exception of guys like Rubens, Tintoretto, Gerrit Dou, and a handful of others, you might be right. The point is, I've seen it done and done well. With your superior knowledge of art history, I'm surprised you haven't come up with plenty of examples where the use of chiaroscuro and color have mixed with splendid results. The only reason I can find is that you're ideologically dead set against it; so you construct a strawman and produce tons of mediocre artists who couldn't make a decent painting anyway and call that proof. Lots of difficult techniques are above lame artists' heads. That doesn't mean they're impossible.

The successful use of a great contrast of value, chiaroscuro, and a broad array of color is undoubtedly possible... so is painting with one's feet. It's not always worth the effort to prove that ever impossibility is not impossible. Rubens pulls it off on occasion:



He achieves it by keeping the colors to the periphery, framing the whole with a near black, and using white or near white (the highest value) to focus the eye on the central drama.

In the Garden of Love again the most saturated colors as well as the blacks are kept to the periphery and employed as a framing element... bracketing the central grouping of seated lovers. Most of the painting is high-keyed... and there is a predominance of earth tones, whites, and grays:



Here with Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato, we see the same technique... and a greater limitation of the colors:



If an artist were to employ a color range such as this, however...





... and still attempt to employ a great contrast of value and chiaroscuro, the result would quite likely look like nothing so much a black velvet painting. But of course if you believe there is so much potential in attempting such, why not make that your own artistic goal?

What's wrong with the Pietro Francavilla? The proportions...the pose...the mullet?

Does there need to be something wrong with a work of art for it to simply fall flat? Are there any real technical flaws in Bouguereau that make them fall short of Ingres or Degas? They merely fail to resonate... to speak to the viewer beyond a mere impressive display of technique and surface beauty. Francavilla's not bad... but it doesn't achieve the depth of expression of Michelangelo or Bernini or Donatello... or Giacometti.

Isn't his name Anton Raphael Mengs, or am I thinking of a different guy? If it's the same guy I'm thinking of, I rather like some of his work, just like I like Bouguereau's. They are fine examples of what is possible for uncreative, non-geniuses to achieve if they have discipline and intelligence. I know you are fond of that quote "Art is 99 percent perspiration and 1 percent inspiration" and I think that 99 percent is often the hard work that goes into study, practice, and technique.

Yes... Anton Mengs... my mistake. I quite like his paintings too. And I also like Erich Korngold and Arnold Bax but they most certainly lack the genius of Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, or Bartok... in spite of their formidable sills in orchestration, composition, etc...

Yes... I agree that the years of study and practice are part of what goes into that "99% perspiration". OI have no use whatsoever for the lazy artists who have the pretension to believe that they can do without this because they are blessed with that "1%" of "vision"... "genius"... "inspiration". While I am no great fan of Renoir, I believe he hit the mark when he stated, "First become a good craftsman, it never prevented anyone from becoming a genius." On the other hand... genius or talent without discipline and hard work will largely go to waste.
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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
Reply With Quote
  #98   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 05:27 PM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

The issue is that there are a broad range of "skills" employed by the artist. Common to all artists there is the need for a mastery of composition and an ability to utilize various abstract elements (color, line, value, etc...) to successfully communicate the desired goal. Beyond this the skills vary from artist to artist.

Agreed, the necessary skills vary from artist to artist, but as a rule of thumb the really good ones tend to have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. I believe what I was saying the first time we had this conversation was that any artist or work of art has room for improvement. With Michelangelo, I'd like to have seen what he could have accomplished with more range of shading and light, more high contrasts and such. With Raphael, I really enjoy his School of Athens, his Disputation, and his Expulsion, but his Transfiguration makes a break from all that earlier awesome stuff into another genre and style equally as awesome.


I like Rembrandt but I sometimes wish he was more colorful.


Sometimes I want him to be more like Rubens or Gerrit Dou


Or some of the other Netherland masters of the Golden Age


I like to see artists step out of their comfort zones and try something new. I'd like it if Caravaggio had painted a really large monumental super complicated work, like a chapel, or a church or something, something with lots of figures like the Sistine chapel ceiling, the last judgement, the Raphael rooms, or
Andrea Pozzo's painted ceiling in the Church of St. Ignazio. I'd like to see Caravaggio tested more, and I wonder if he could rise to the occasion and produce something marvelous. I mean, you seem to like it when Michelangelo does his triathlon thing with the painting, sculpting, and architecture or when Picasso does his classical style stuff, then his cubist stuff and shows some real range and plasticity in his work. Like what if Fragonard had been into battle scenes? I bet he could have done some cool stuff with horses charging and blood flying, maybe some lightning in the air. With his grasp of colors forms and textures it would have been a cinch. As much as I enjoy Tiepolo and his use of trompe l'oeil, his colors just stink. That's all I'm saying.

or Veronese or Andrea del Sarto is not proof that Picasso, Matisse, or Klee are inherently inferior artists to Michelangelo, Veronese, or del Sarto. We wouldn't criticize the artisans who created the great rose window of Chartres or the architect of the same cathedral for lacking the same body of skills as the Renaissance painter.

I'm not saying that they all need to have the same skills, I'm just saying that great artists need a number of different skills and sometimes there's room for improvement whoever you are.

How many times greater is it?

I don't know, it's a little better. I'm really not as big a fan of Giotto and Ingres as you are.

To me it seems but a wall of noise... not unlike the heavy metal guitarists who imagine that the faster they play and the more notes they squeeze into a bar, the better the music is.

Now there I don't think you are being fair to Vasari. He's not bad. His composition is a little rigid and I don't like the tier structure he's working with but some of his figures and colors are pretty nice.

As far as your distaste for heavy metal goes, I'm guessing it's because you are old, out of touch, and the last popular band you enjoyed was probably The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. It's funny you should mention speed metal, because that's one of the characteristics I find offputting about virtuoso classicists like Chopin and Paganini. The emphasis on speed and virtuoso guitar playing that was introduced into Metal in the 80s was largely influenced by classical music. You get guys like Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen who draw upon composers like Bach and Vivaldi to create a more harmonious clear sounding instrumental based sound often featuring Aeolian and Phrygian modes while downplaying fads like growling and distortion.

Assuming that all metal is one homogeneous entity is about as silly as assuming the same thing of classical music, classical literature, or modern art. There's an entire universe of sounds, images, and words out there; so there's no excuse for people not being able to find one or two things they would like.

to be continued...
Reply With Quote
  #99   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 10:08 PM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

But of course if you believe there is so much potential in attempting such, why not make that your own artistic goal?

Oh, I'm sure I could never paint or draw at such a level to prove the point. It's some powerful stuff, but it's far over my head. Color and light are some of the most difficult things to do really well. That's why when someone like El Greco manages to carry both to such a level you really have to hand it to him. All of his paintings pop with the vitality of red, yellow, blues, and greens, while his figures glow with a surreal inner light. He even manages to distort the proportions of figures in a way that I find much preferable to the abstractions of modern artists such as Picasso and Matisse.



Does there need to be something wrong with a work of art for it to simply fall flat?


Yeah.

Are there any real technical flaws in Bouguereau that make them fall short of Ingres or Degas?


It's not so much that there are flaws in what he does, so much as the flaws are in what he leaves undone. All you have to do to see what areas he's lacking in is to compare him to Waterhouse, who combines his skill of composition and figure drawing with Burne-Jone's flair for color.

And I also like Erich Korngold and Arnold Bax but they most certainly lack the genius of Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, or Bartok

I'm not terribly fond of any of those composers, but Stravinsky's 1947 version of Petrushka is pretty good.
Reply With Quote
  #100   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-13-2010, 10:42 PM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Agreed, the necessary skills vary from artist to artist, but as a rule of thumb the really good ones tend to have a lot of tricks up their sleeve. I believe what I was saying the first time we had this conversation was that any artist or work of art has room for improvement. With Michelangelo, I'd like to have seen what he could have accomplished with more range of shading and light, more high contrasts and such. With Raphael, I really enjoy his School of Athens, his Disputation, and his Expulsion, but his Transfiguration makes a break from all that earlier awesome stuff into another genre and style equally as awesome.

The problem with the Transfiguration is that it was not finished by Raphael, but rather by his pupil Giulio Romano. He certainly established the entire composition and the poses of the figures... and it would appear that most of the figures from the kneeling woman left were mostly by Raphael... but the cluster at the right with the bug-eyed saint and the stiff-limbed spastic boy (over muscled in a clear Mannerist style almost certainly Romano's) lack Raphael's grace of handling. The painting as a whole is still pushing toward the use of dramatic chiaroscuro that would eventually show up in Caravaggio. The composition is divided into two distinct zones with the brilliant light above enveloping Christ's transfiguration, while below... in the shadows... Christ's followers attempt in vain to cure a child from demonic possession. The lower half of the composition employs a means similar to Ruben's. The most saturated colors are kept to the periphery of the focal point: the brilliant pink of the kneeling female saint. Surrounded in near black, they glow almost like the colors in stained glass. The eyes are bounced around to the various colors around the central female figure... who also acts as something of a repoussoir with her back turned to the viewer and twisting dramatically she leads us into the center of the drama. What is odd, however, is that one would expect that the possessed boy would be the focal point... but even with the arms gesturing in his direction, he is not. I find myself wondering whether this was Raphael's intention... a flaw on the part of Romano... or did Romano... like many Mannerists... intentionally screw up the expected Renaissance focal point?

I like Rembrandt but I sometimes wish he was more colorful.Sometimes I want him to be more like Rubens or Gerrit Dou
Or some of the other Netherland masters of the Golden Age


Personally, I find the greater use of saturated color in Rembrandt's earlier works to be somewhat garish... as they are in the example by Dou. The other example is not really all that colorful, but rather quite limited to a few distinct areas of red and yellow against the dark. Georges de la Tour and Caravaggio work in a similar manner:



Rembrandt is no less limited... he simply makes the choice to employ yellows, golds, ochres, and grays as opposed to reds:



Even so... he has exceptions...





Still, the main focus is upon the drama and atmosphere... the personalities of the individuals (I see Rembrandt with his ability to suggest real individual personalities to be the artist most akin to Shakespeare, the master of invented characters) and the use of texture and brushwork to not only convey shimmering light, textures of glittering golds and satins... but also to suggest how the human eye focuses through soft blurring of edges as we move away from the focal point. Lucian Freud has talked about color and stated that while he admires Matisse and other colorists he does not want the viewer walking away from his painting thinking about a gorgeous blue or green. Clearly Rembrandt shared this thought.

I like to see artists step out of their comfort zones and try something new. I'd like it if Caravaggio had painted a really large monumental super complicated work, like a chapel, or a church or something, something with lots of figures like the Sistine chapel ceiling, the last judgement, the Raphael rooms, or Andrea Pozzo's painted ceiling in the Church of St. Ignazio. I'd like to see Caravaggio tested more, and I wonder if he could rise to the occasion and produce something marvelous. I mean, you seem to like it when Michelangelo does his triathlon thing with the painting, sculpting, and architecture or when Picasso does his classical style stuff, then his cubist stuff and shows some real range and plasticity in his work. Like what if Fragonard had been into battle scenes? I bet he could have done some cool stuff with horses charging and blood flying, maybe some lightning in the air.

I'm not sure stepping outside of ones comfort zone is always productive. Monet's portraits and still life paintings stink. Considering the speed with which Caravaggio worked, I somewhat doubt that a grand painting cycle would have been something he would have easily risen to any more than Fragonard. Fragonard may not have been able to do what Michelangelo did... but I doubt that Michelangelo could have pulled of the intimacy and spontaneity of this painting by Fragonard:



Michelangelo may be a greater artist than most... yet that does not mean that I wish that every other artist would have painted like Michelangelo.

To me it seems but a wall of noise... not unlike the heavy metal guitarists who imagine that the faster they play and the more notes they squeeze into a bar, the better the music is.

Now there I don't think you are being fair to Vasari. He's not bad. His composition is a little rigid and I don't like the tier structure he's working with but some of his figures and colors are pretty nice.

Yes... its probably not as bad as heavy metal.

As far as your distaste for heavy metal goes, I'm guessing it's because you are old, out of touch, and the last popular band you enjoyed was probably The Rolling Stones or The Beatles. It's funny you should mention speed metal, because that's one of the characteristics I find offputting about virtuoso classicists like Chopin and Paganini. The emphasis on speed and virtuoso guitar playing that was introduced into Metal in the 80s was largely influenced by classical music. You get guys like Eddie Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen who draw upon composers like Bach and Vivaldi to create a more harmonious clear sounding instrumental based sound often featuring Aeolian and Phrygian modes while downplaying fads like growling and distortion.

Assuming that all metal is one homogeneous entity is about as silly as assuming the same thing of classical music, classical literature, or modern art.


Perhaps I am "old" relative to yourself... but not quite of the Beatles or Stones' era. As someone who mostly follows classical music... from the middle ages to the present... I'm not overly impressed with the "music" of head-banging idiots that are the aesthetic equivalent of slasher films. Of course what's not to love about leather, smoke, and Halloween imagery? The fact that they employ an element here or there that they gleaned from Bach or Vivaldi in no way changes matters. By the way... while he was certainly a virtuoso, Chopin is far from overusing or abusing virtuosity in his own compositions. Along with Robert Schumann he represented a return to a simpler "classicism" as best represented by Mozart, as opposed to the bombastic effects of Berlioz, Wagner, Paganini, and Liszt. (By the way... Liszt and Wagner easily transcend mere virtuosity).
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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
Reply With Quote
  #101   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-14-2010, 09:04 PM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Of course what's not to love about leather, smoke, and Halloween imagery?

You're right, you strike me as more of a powdered wig, buckled shoe, frilly ascot kinda' guy at that. Maybe heavy metal's just not for you. It can be a little extreme and you might have a heart condition or something and I really wouldn't want that type of thing on my conscience. Best stick to those moldy old scores of yours, by the ancient dead guys, with their lutes and hurdy-gurdys. You're probably not missing anything anyways.

Rembrandt is no less limited... he simply makes the choice to employ yellows, golds, ochres, and grays as opposed to reds:

And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you like painting with mud.
Reply With Quote
  #102   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-14-2010, 10:48 PM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

You're right, you strike me as more of a powdered wig, buckled shoe, frilly ascot kinda' guy at that. Maybe heavy metal's just not for you. It can be a little extreme and you might have a heart condition or something and I really wouldn't want that type of thing on my conscience. Best stick to those moldy old scores of yours, by the ancient dead guys, with their lutes and hurdy-gurdys. You're probably not missing anything anyways.

Of course the reality is that a good many of the "old" classical guys were probably as wild or more so than any heavy metal or pop musician just as Caravaggio, Bosch, Courbet, and Gericault were "crazier" than any artist today. They also had the added advantage in that they could read music and actually play their instruments. Look up Gesualdo for fun. His music is quite wild too. He was employing dissonance or atonal elements centuries before Schoenberg. Of course you can stick with the generic commercially produced pablum... or you can go off and check out what serious composers are actually doing today. Much of it goes far beyond your heavy metal notions of being cutting edge, dangerous and out there. Check out Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar, George Crumb's Ancient Voices of Children or Songs Dances and Refrains of Death, Philip Glass' Einstein on the Beach...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmX_G...eature=related

Akhnaten, or Satyagraha, David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion, John Adams' Doctor Atomic or Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Steve Reich's Drumming and Desert Music, Krzysztof Penderecki's Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBVYhyXU8o

...and Utrenja, anything by Harry Partch, Erkki-Sven Tテシテシr's Crystallisatio or Architectonic VI. Check out living or recently deceased composers such as Giya Kancheli, Tristan Murail...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utQAXK15ZGM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdROh...eature=related

Valentin Silvestrov, Julian Anderson, Iannis Xenakis...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ziQjykdLDVU

Kalevi Aho, Einojuhani Rautavaara...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auW10aD0kYo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxsw1...eature=related

Gerard Grisey...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kX77M...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUE24...eature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2O8b...eature=related

Gyテカrgy Ligeti:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iVYu...eature=related

Kaija Saariaho:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrXaWt0UJ5Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DHNTw...eature=related

Toru Takemitsu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nYRUm...eature=related

Not exactly the powdered wig material. And no... I doubt I'm missing anything... beyond that which I have still to discover in the universe of "serious" music... Of course this doesn't mean I don't listen to any of the powdered wig bunch: Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Rameau, Lully, Mozart, and Haydn are all among my favorites. If you get the chance to see Rameau's Opera/Ballet Les Indes galantes performed by William Christie it is absolutely visually and musically stunning... and there is a marvelous campy character playing the goddess of war who looks like something strait out of Twisted Sister.
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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

Last edited by stlukesguild : 06-14-2010 at 11:32 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #103   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-15-2010, 04:53 PM
Ovid's Exile Ovid's Exile is offline
Senior Member
Sacramento, CA
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 481
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Of course the reality is that a good many of the "old" classical guys were probably as wild or more so than any heavy metal or pop musician just as Caravaggio, Bosch, Courbet, and Gericault were "crazier" than any artist today. They also had the added advantage in that they could read music and actually play their instruments.

It was never my intention to imply that they weren't "hip" or in touch with their own time. As a modern, open-minded person, I'm well aware of their contributions to our culture.

Look up Gesualdo for fun. His music is quite wild too. He was employing dissonance or atonal elements centuries before Schoenberg.

I know and appreciate Gesualdo, though I must say that, for the time period, Monteverdi is his superior.

Of course you can stick with the generic commercially produced pablum... or you can go off and check out what serious composers are actually doing today. Much of it goes far beyond your heavy metal notions of being cutting edge, dangerous and out there.

Just because they compose in the classical vein does not mean that they are necessarily serious musicians, or producing particularly good classical music at that. I don't like ****ty classical any more than I like ****ty metal. And you ought to be ashamed of yourself referring to heavy metal as noise while listening to Penderecki, Ligeti, and Xenakis.

Philip Glass should have called his song Einstein on the Snore! Get it? 'Cause the n looks like an h, but actually it's just really boring. And don't get me started on John Adams. His operas aren't even as good as musicals, and not even the golden age of musicals. I mean contemporary musicals that came out since he's been writing operas. Puccini/Wagner/Mozart/Rossini/Verdi he is not.

And no... I doubt I'm missing anything... beyond that which I have still to discover in the universe of "serious" music...

Sure, most ignorant people don't feel like they are missing anything, and are proud of all the things they don't know anything about. Welcome to the club. I tell you, there's nothing more elite than being oblivious.

If you get the chance to see Rameau's Opera/Ballet Les Indes galantes

I'll keep my eye out for that, since I like his music, but my copies of Siegfried and Gotterdammerung are both do back at the library in a few days, and I doubt I'll have the time for other things.

and there is a marvelous campy character playing the goddess of war who looks like something strait out of Twisted Sister.

I am barely old enough to get that reference. Twisted Sister had two hits 25 years ago, and they weren't a well liked band then. They were more known for their make-up and stage act than for their music. Seriously, is that what you think all metal is?
Reply With Quote
  #104   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-15-2010, 10:00 PM
stlukesguild's Avatar
stlukesguild stlukesguild is offline
A WC! Legend
A large urban setting in the Mid-West
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11,135
 
Hails from United States
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

I know and appreciate Gesualdo, though I must say that, for the time period, Monteverdi is his superior.

Well... just the fact that he virtually "invented" opera places Monteverdi in the upper echelon of composers. His Orfeo is absolutely stunning. Add to that his Vespers of 1610 with its brilliant polyphonic writing taking into consideration the acoustic/architectural layout of San Marco, Venice, as well as all of his Madrigals... especially books 7 and 8. He is almost certainly the greatest composer of the Renaissance and the composer who most leads the way into the Baroque. Gesualdo, however, is brilliantly innovative... in some ways more experimental than Monteverdi for the simple reason that as a wealthy aristocrat he didn't need to please the audience. His use of atonalism is as shocking for his time as anything by Penderecki or Glass... yet it brilliantly heightens the sense of emotion... especially in a man tormented with guilt.

Just because they compose in the classical vein does not mean that they are necessarily serious musicians, or producing particularly good classical music at that. I don't like ****ty classical any more than I like ****ty metal. And you ought to be ashamed of yourself referring to heavy metal as noise while listening to Penderecki, Ligeti, and Xenakis.

Now, who is being the old fart? Penderecki, Ligeti, Adams, Glass, etc... write in the serious musical language of their time. They are no more shocking than Modernist vocabularies of painting. Heavy metal... on the other hand... is rather the equivalent of Boris Vallejo and other such illustrators for science fiction and fantasy magazines... and heavy metal record covers. It is art/music for 14 year old white males.

Puccini/Wagner/Mozart/Rossini/Verdi he (John Adams) is not.

And Picasso, Mattise, Klee, and Anselm Kiefer are not Vermeer or Van Eyck. That doesn not inherently make them inferior... unless you use the standards and values of Vermeer and Van Eyck as the means of measure.

Sure, most ignorant people don't feel like they are missing anything, and are proud of all the things they don't know anything about. Welcome to the club. I tell you, there's nothing more elite than being oblivious.

Oh well... art has always been an elitist endeavor. Michelangelo wasn't exactly painting to please the peasant masses.

If you get the chance to see Rameau's Opera/Ballet Les Indes galantes
and there is a marvelous campy character playing the goddess of war who looks like something strait out of Twisted Sister.

I am barely old enough to get that reference. Twisted Sister had two hits 25 years ago, and they weren't a well liked band then. They were more known for their make-up and stage act than for their music. Seriously, is that what you think all metal is?

Twisted Sister was nothing more than a parody of heavy metal stereotypes from the name to the campy transvestite garb. Of course This Is Spinal Tap was even better at hitting the mark.

...most ignorant people don't feel like they are missing anything, and are proud of all the things they don't know anything about.

Most of us must make decisions involving what works of art are worth our time and effort... or not. I'll probably never get around to an in-depth exploration of Polka, Rococo architecture, Victorian wallpaper design, or Chinese opera. Heavy metal is another in that group.
__________________
Saintlukesguild-http://stlukesguild.tumblr.com/
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty葉hat 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
Reply With Quote
  #105   Report Bad Post  
Old 06-15-2010, 10:26 PM
Clive Green's Avatar
Clive Green Clive Green is offline
A WetCanvas! Patron Saint
Europe
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,123
 
Hails from New Zealand
Re: What are your thoughts on Picasso?

Gentlepersons - thank you. By far one of the most intelligent and illuminating discussions I've seen on WetCanvas.

As an artist living in the pacific and surrounded by the art of the last revealed lands I will admit to a liking for Picasso. There is a vigour to his work that is only enhanced by his skills.
__________________
Kia Ora o Aotearoa Feckless and Irresponsible
My website http://www.otaki-artist.com
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:48 PM.


ゥ 2014 F+W All rights reserved.