Friday, July 29, 2011

Modern art vs Classical art study

Thought I'd share this article I stumbled accross that I found fascinating. It's about the common argument between modern art and classical style art. A proper study was done looking at the behaviour, attention time of the public looking at artwork in the Tate Britain gallery:

As an artist who paints and loves classical styles but also is enjoying the freedom of a new contempory style emerging in my art, this was very interesting.

I definitely think that the findings of the study mirror my behaviour in a gallery. Most of the minimalist conceptual type stuff leaves me a little cold and don't have much interaction with. I find myself skim-reading it and moving on. I'm not saying its not good by the way, just that it doesn't excite me- others of course argue that I'm not giving it the time and thought to GET the concept though my deep thinking about it. As always with art its a very personal response that is unique to each individual.

One of the examples in the article is Damien Hirst's large paintings of coloured dots- to me its decorative and pretty but I get no story or message from it and as such my attention is not held. I find the same with Mark Rothko's work. Both of these artists sell for huge amounts of course! Whereas some Tracy Emin drawings (though often difficult to look at in regards to content and 'crude' technique) are thoroughly modern do have a message and have made me stop and contemplate.

For me I like looking at modern art and classical art- one informs the other. I prefer modern art that has a bit of craft to it and preferrably a message or bit of narrative.

I think one of the key things that cause a painting/drawing to hold the viewers interest is composition. In classical styles, laws of composition are carefully followed and exploited to keep the viewers eye movement controlled and moving around the canvas- clearly from the study it works well. A lot of the 'modern art' they discuss in the article lacks this or deliberately break these composition rules

-maybe the fleeting glances of the majority of the public is the cost they pay?


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