Cèzanne's potential

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Cèzanne's potential

From Juan Carlos Martinez

Published before 2005


Evan,

You said, “it shows clearly that the man, if he had kept to an academic training for longer than he did, would have been able to draw competently in the end”. This could be said of anyone who has had some academic training, don’t you think? The way I see it, Cézanne’s skills never advanced much beyond that of a very average young art student of the time, and that he ought not be continually praised as if he did anything out of the ordinary in his early years. Plus, it is much easier to do something adequate with a guide at your side than it is to do the same on your own. (All this can be said of early Picasso, too, only to a greater degree.) Yes, Cézanne chose to do something different with his artistic path, which is what history will judge him by, which is fine. However — and we see this all the time today, as I’m sure you would agree — there are thousands of incompetent artists out there who stand by their claims of “wanting to do it their way” and that they “see the world differently” and any number of other cover-ups. These aren’t necessarily maliciously or, even, knowingly made statements, because everyone in the whole world of art already buys into the idea. However, the claims all serve to mask the fact that the artist in question never really learned how to draw and paint all that well. The buying public, and more particularly, the cognoscenti of the art world, have long ago given up being able to distinguish (with notable exceptions) between what is well wrought and what is not. Just my two-cents worth. (I am not here talking about degree of finish, style, nor about subject matter, by the way.)

Juan