Letter to ARC

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Letter to ARC

From Chris Fitzgerald

Published before 2005


Wow, this is a great site, the pictures of the French Realists and Pre-Raphaelites are amazing, and I agree with a lot of what you say about what is wrong with Modernism, but... just remember that some of what you are saying is incredibly close to what [was said by] a young artist who was not accepted into art school in Vienna and who subsequently led a political party that took over and started burning art which he did not regard as up to the high standards he set - I'm sure you know who I mean. While you're right that Bouguereau and all of the wonderful Italian and Dutch masters are a hundred times better than some of the modernist b.s. that gets put up into art galleries these days, don't go so far down the road you're going on that you want to start holding "Entartete Kunst" exhibitions showing the art which doesn't live up to your high standards. Remember that not everyone has the skills to paint like that & some modern & abstract artists really try to create something beautiful. I think that's the point - as long as there's been some effort gone into trying to make something look attractive than it's OK. I've seen work which it seems the 'artist' has gone out of their way to disgust the viewer and in that case I agree with what you're saying, such as Emil Nolde or any one that puts toilet humour in a gallery. But there is some great abstract art, such as Kandinsky. OK, ok I know all the great masters could paint like that if they wanted to, and [it] doesn't show skill, etc., etc. but some of it is pretty and looks nice, its like a flower, say a dandelion - it may not be as beautiful and colourful as a rose, but you don't squish it into the ground just because it isn't AS pretty, it's just that it's pretty. Now there are 3 artists I would LOVE to hear your opinions of: (really, please write back to me)
  1. THE IMPRESSIONISTS (not the post-impressionists like C├ęzanne) but the Impressionists, these seem strangely absent from your discussion. Monet, Manet, Renoir you can't tell me their paintings aren't beautiful.
  2. Salvador Dali - most people today love Dali, even those who don't like modern art at all. I remember going on a year 8 excursion to the Surrealism exhibition - and everyone loved it - and this was an all boys school - 14 year old guys - about as far away from artsy people as you can get who loved the way he used his imagination & used some traditional techniques.
  3. MC Escher - another artist extremely popular with people today even those that hate modernism. His drawings show an enormous amount of skill and talent, and yet they do not show 'traditional' poses. in terms of skill for a drawing these would have to come close to if not surpass even the drawings of Michelangelo and Leonardo.