Example of Modernist Arguments

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Example of Modernist Arguments

From Brian K. Yoder

Published before 2005


Sam Evans wrote:

You either must be blind or just plain ignorant to be able to overlook the qualities of these artists you call "non artists". Just to refer to them as this is absurd! Who are you to pass such naive judgment on them and claim to understand good art? What you are my friend is a hypocrite. You claim these artists are superficial when it is you that is superficial. Art is not there to be looked at, it is there to be received, a piece of art is not complete without a spectator to reflect on it. Your views on contemporary [art] disgust me. Fine art, not just classical art, artists like Picasso and Howard Hodgkin, can't be put in front of you and then dismissed because you don't find them attractive. It isn't about looks, but I can see you must be. When I first accidentally came across your site when I was looking up some information on a particular artist I thought you were just some silly 14 year old boy claiming that these people aren't real artists. I can't tell you how mad it makes me to know there are people in this world who are as one-track minded as you.

I hope I never come across anything so immature and absurd like this again.

Maybe you should consider reading into these artists and find out about the reasoning for the ways in which they paint. A biased opinion goes nowhere in the art world, how you got so far is beyond me.

From all the sincerity in my heart,

Sam

Sam,

I don't doubt that you are sincere, but I have to say that when it comes to providing arguments to back up your emotional reaction to my site you don't really have anything to say. Read over what you wrote and you'll see that it contains nothing but personal attacks against me and nothing about why what I have to say is wrong. Could it be that you don't really know why we are supposed to think that Rothko and Pollock were geniuses so all you can do is say I'm a bad person because I don't agree with you?

As for your claims that my positions on these topics are a result of my lack of learning about the history of these guys and the idea that I'm the only one who has drawn these conclusions, you are quite mistaken. I have taken numerous classes, visited many museums, and read many books and articles about the modernists and their excuses. It's not that I have not been exposed to them, it's that I think they are wrong. Are you of the opinion that the evidence that what they did was awesomely great is so utterly convincing that nobody could possible be exposed to their point of view and not be convinced by it? Or not have any disagreements with them?

Not that it matters, but there are probably more people who think as I do than those who honestly think that there's any aesthetic value in a Rothko, Gronk, or Pollock painting, and some of them are excellent artists and some have advanced degrees in the arts. You may not agree with us, but this posturing that we must be ignorant of the facts or bad people isn't really worthy of a response. If you want to see some of what such people have to say you should check out http://www.artrenewal.org/

I have no doubt that someone taught you that nobody is supposed to question the orthodoxies of your art teachers, but that doesn't mean that you should not question them and think for yourself. If you find that you can't muster any convincing arguments in your defense then perhaps you should reconsider your position.

I'm not sure if you read my FAQ (http://www.goodart.org/faq.htm) but if you do, you will see my justification laid out in some detail. You may or may not agree with what I have to say, but if you disagree you should at least have some good reasons for doing so other than the fact that I'm a "blind", "ignorant", "absurd", "hypocritical", "superficial", "disgusting", "silly", "young", "one-track-minded", "immature", and "biased". That's just bluster and insult, not an serious thinking.

-- Brian