Analysis of how modernists have dissed" academic art"

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Analysis of how modernists have dissed" academic art"

From Fred Ross

Published before 2005


In the last century, the type of propaganda that has been hurled against the academics is so insidious, that people have been literally trained to "dis" any work by virtue of their seeing well crafted figures. All the beauty and subtlety of emotion, -- interplay of composition, -- design and theme, the interlacing of color, tone and mood, are never seen, for the viewer has been taught that a work on a prima facie basis is bad by definition -- bad by virtue of it resorting to the use of human figures, themes or stories.

"Prestige suggestion" causes them to automatically assume that a work must be great if it's by Picasso, Pollock, DeKooning, or Rothko, so they at once start finding reasons why it IS great, for any failing to find greatness is not a failing in the art but in the intelligence and sensibilities of the viewer. Students under that kind of intimidating pressure, you can be sure will find greatness -- no matter what they are looking at.

The reverse of this has been trained into them when they view academic paintings. They have been taught that the works that resort to using realistic rendering are "bad art" and therefore, any good that is seen is not due to qualities inherent in the artistic accomplishment, but are rather due to a lack of intelligence and taste in the viewer. The same intimadating pressure works in reverse to ensure that a Bouguereau, Lord Leighton, Frederick Hart or Jeffrey Mims, will not be seen as anything other than bad by definition.

The effectiveness is analogous to teaching that anyone who disagrees with the liberal position on affirmative action is a racist or bigot by definition. Therefore, no student who is in a school with this kind of liberal brain washing, will ever risk exploring or even listening to opposing views for fear of being labeled something that everyone they associate with will consider despicable.

Thus the visual experience of well drawn representational elements is percieved as a negative AD HOMINEM label that proves the "badness" of the art and its creator.

It is especially ironic that these are the same people who trumpet the virtues and inalienable right to freedom of speech, while surreptitiously and steadfastly they conspire to remove that freedom from their opponents.

Academic art "Inspired?" How could they ever judge? They've never gotten past the technical virtuosity by which they condemn it, to see what is being said. This rich visual language is wasted on eyes that will not see. It would be no different than dismissing out of hand any music the second it was determined that notes chords and keys were used, or dismissing any writing the moment you saw written words in grammatically correct sentences.

Academic painting ranges from brilliantly conceived and deeply inspired, to flat and silly, depending on the subject and the artist.

Modern art is never anything but flat and meaningless, endlessly proving the canvas is flat, and that the artist doesn't need any skill or standards. The entire point is to elevate that which has removed all standards and prior defining characteristics of art. In other words, by defining non-art as art, the logical conclusion is that art is non-art.

Fred