Date: 04/10/02-09:25:44 AM Z
You fail to explain why drawing from a flower is better than drawing from a
picture of a flower. You simply assume that there is a rule someplace that
this is the better procedure. I don't see how. What you call "nature" is not
life in a way that a photograph or a automobile isn't. This is art, not
botany.... As for Perl's ravings about ARTificical "contrivances," etc. --
What does he think art is? -jeff buckels
shannon stoney <firstname.lastname@example.org> said:
> >On Tue, 9 Apr 2002, shannon stoney wrote:
> >> I re-read the Jed Perl article last night. He is not saying that
> >> painters should never use photographs; he objects to copying
> >> photographs "slavishly." As somebody who has painted both from life
> Judy wrote:
> >That's not my reading of this article. He jumps up and down for 3 or 4
> >pages on the intermix of photography and painting... he uses "slavish
> >dependency" to mean "interest in" or "reference to" photography; he says
> >"There are by now several generations of museum goers who have been
> >trained to regard photo-dependency as a fact of artistic life." And so
> Here is the critical passage I think: "The fundamentally unanalyzed
> fact of Richter's career is his slavish dependency on photographic
> images. We would do well to remember that only four years ago Robert
> Storr organized at the Modern a retrospective of Chuck Close, another
> contemporary artist whose career is grounded in a slavish dependency
> on photographic images. These are not artists who from time to time
> take an interest in the particular qualities of certain photographic
> images, or who find compositional or structural ideas in photographs
> that intrigue them and that they think of bringing into their work as
> painters. They cling to the two dimensional images that the camera
> produces in order to concoct their own two dimensional painted
> images....Basically, Richter and Close have ceded the act of creation
> to the camera. AFter which they dither around with notions of
> facture and style--they give their photographic material a
> personalized 'artistic' spin. Yet there is always a deadness to this
> work: the deadness of their dependency on the photograph, of their
> inability to make anything on their own. They want us to believe
> that deadness is a form of hipness.
> Richter and Close are far from being the only contemporary
> artists who are hardpressed to respond to nature if they do not have
> a camera to do the looking for them.Countless academic portrait
> painters, who will never garner any attention at the museum of modern
> art, depend on photographs when they do their work; and they are
> dismissed as sentimental hacks. With Richter and Close, however,
> photorealism has an avant-gardist eclat..."
> What I think he's talking about is something I've observed as an art
> student: there is very little emphasis in art education any more on
> drawing from the real world. I was in a drawing class where we were
> made to copy a photograph by gridding it and copying each square of
> the grid laboriously. This was depressing and boring, and the
> resulting drawings looked like bad photographs. It may be that
> contemporary artists are forced to work from mass media photographs
> because they can't draw from life. It may not be that much of a
> choice. Also, there's an obsession in contemporary art with mass
> media, so that art that is not about mass media or consumer culture
> in some way is deemed irrelevant. I think Perl is urging painters to
> get out and look at the real world and stop clipping from newspapers,
> tv, etc. There is a difference between experiencing the world
> directly, and experiencing it mediated through, well, media.
> >> and from photographs, I agree with him that you can tell the
> >> difference between a painting from life and one copied from a
> >> photograph, and the latter has a kind of flatness to it. I think
> >> this is because we see in stereo, with two eyes, and a camera sees
> >> with one eye. It's as if it has one eye in the middle of its
> >Hardly -- you're looking at a 2-dimensional image whichever way it was
> >made, with 2 eyes or 3 eyes. Many are blends, with photo as reference --
> >you and Perl none the wiser, that is, you wouldn't know unless you knew...
> >If the painting is "flat" that's a deliberate "look", or stylization... or
> >what you "see" via preconception. (Do photo realist paintings look
> >> forehead. The camera's monocular vision does not bother me in a
> >> photograph, but somehow when it's translated literally into a
> > > painting, something is lost.
> >Like which painting?
> Like one I made from a slide of Fountain's Abbey in Yorkshire. I sold
> that painting, amazingly, but it always sort of depressed me. A lot
> of watercolor painters paint from slides and photos because
> watercolor is hard to paint with alla prima, sur le motif (to mix
> languages), and requires a lot of planning and layers. But my
> clumsier paintings done from life seem more alive to me than my tight
> paintings I've done from photographs.
> I would make an exception for some drawings done with a camera
> lucida, like Ingres' drawings. In that case the "motif" is still in
> front of you, and you look at it, and at the prism's projection,
> alternately, so that you can "correct" unconsciously the monocular
> flatness of the projection.
> Also I think nineteenth century artists, who had a long training in
> drawing from life, were much more able to avoid the flatness risk
> when painting from photographs than contemporary artists are, who
> rarely have this long, rigorous academic training in drawing the
> human figure and the landscape for example. That's why Degas'
> paintings from photographs don't look flat. He could also paint from
> >You also assume it's the duty of a painting in 2 dimensions to look 3
> >dimensional. A major development of 20th century painting was what was
> >called "flattening of the picture plane." In post modernism, this may be
> >reversed, but whether or not, it is NOT a sign of something "wrong," only
> >of an evolution of form.
> I don't mind flatness in some painting that is intentionally flat,
> like Manet's "Olympia" or "Dejeuner Sur L'Herbe," or in abstract
> expressionism. But I mind it in my own painting, especially figure
> painting and drawing. In Manet's time, this flatness was a new idea,
> and a kind of statement about the primacy of paint and surface over
> subject matter. Flatness is sort of a move toward abstraction. If
> that's intentional, fine. But sometimes I think it's an unfortunate
> accident that doesn't really fit the subject matter.
> >> I think Perl's larger point was about the vacuity and nihilism of a
> >> lot of contemporary art that descends from Duchamp. It's not that he
> >> hates all contemporary and modern art; he loves Mondrian, Matisse,
> >> Picasso, et al, and he says nice things too about a lot of
> >> contemporary artists.
> >Mondrian, Matisse and Picasso are for the purposes of this discussion
> >hardly "contemporary," but old masters.
> But they are usually considered to be modern, right?
> > In the article at issue, Perl
> >says "nice things" only about the "master" Balthus, but no later artists,
> >tho he gives a pass to Lucien Freud & Kitaj. He sort of likes early
> >Warhol, but says the later is "nothing at all," making a point of fact
> >that he doesn't consider Warhol great. Three & a half isn't "a lot." I
> >would also add that a "critic" who doesn't see the greatness of Warhol has
> >no business writing about 20th century art.... or not beyond Balthus.
> I guess that means I should stop writing about art. I am a bit
> amused by some warhol things and I understand his contribution to
> 20th century art conceptually, but as my teacher DAvid Brauer says,
> "Pop art had a short shelf life."
> >I agree with you AND Perl, BTW, about emptiness of much/most contemporary
> >art. But so what? 'Twas ever thus.
> What do you mean? That most art in most epochs was empty and
> nihilistic? I would agree that probably most art was mediocre if you
> took the whole sum of the art of any one year in human history. But
> these days we seem to adore empty gestures of nihilism, statements
> about the futility of art, and we enshrine them in museums. I think
> that's what worries Perl, and me. I would rather see a lot of bad
> landscapes, or bad madonnas and childs, than a lot of bad paintings
> about how stupid it is to paint or make a photograph.
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