Killed by comparison

What can be a better opportunity for a modern artist to prove his or her point than being exhibited alongside old masters?

Nothing beats a decommissioned baroque church as a modern art venue.

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The challenge is to show modern art that is different from what comes with the church, and in more ways that just being oulandish.

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What a waste of space!

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12 thoughts on “Killed by comparison

  1. djgarcia94

    I don’t like it. Baroque art is good, and modern art is good but I don’t think a Baroque church is a good modern art gallery because the contrast doesn’t work. It wasn’t intended to be used as a gallery, I think decommissioned churches ought to just be kept as they are since they are already museums.

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      Baroque art, before it turned into the overly sentimental and superficial roccoco, was – at times – good and innovative, and it can be a great backdrop for modern art that focuses on hyperbolised emotions in today’s world. With baroque paintings, in this case, blowing religious emotions out of proportion, a show that sets up a dialogue about the modern exaggerated feelings of consumerism can be interesting. We can’t really know if it can be good, until we see it )

      Reply
      1. djgarcia94

        I actually rather like a lot of rococo, It’s definitely an acquired taste. Waldemar Januszczak did a really good miniseries on it that got me to take a liking to it.

        Reply
        1. artmoscow Post author

          I know the series, but I hate excess )) I respect Rococo as a spring board to new thinking that emerged after it, but I really, really feel myself a fly drowning in a jar of honey in front of it )

          Reply
  2. Boryana

    A kill indeed – which is worse than a mere waste of space. On the other hand an intelligently curated exhibition where the old and new communicate creating new meanings could be a gem. I saw one in a city outside Rome (shame but the name escapes me now) of contemporary works inspired by or related to Caravaggio, with the original Caravaggio pieces displayed in reproduction. It was spectacular.

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      When it is a clever dialogue, it is always exciting. When it is a clever dialogue of two or more great artistic minds who happened to live centuries apart, it is doubly so ))

      Reply
  3. Mary

    I don’t think art is meant to be compared. I think it’s meant to connect to the viewer. True, there’s a specific skill involved with the old masters but there’s an emotional intelligence in the way abstract art can evoke a certain kind of energy or feel. Some Renaissance Art can really bore a person to tears. They all start to look alike for me and there’s nothing holy about a painter depicting himself as a saint because he doesn’t have an actual photograph or model to use for this white washed version of a saint. For me, there’s an energy evoked on the canvas in Abstract paintings and a defiance against only ONE type of art. It allows for creativity.

    Reply
    1. artmoscow Post author

      Hi. Thanks for the comment, I have to say I partly expected it.
      The issue with this particular exhibition is that it is a purely decorative blotches of colour that can at best express a certain mood of the aritst.I don’t give a dime for the mood of an artist. I am only interested in an artwork if its mood has any resonance with me. For an abstract painting to resonate it must – as any Renaissance art, or any art for that matter – have a conflict. It’s easier for figurative art to show a conflict and highlight an idea through it because it can use the STORY, something abstract art rarely has (Miro and Kandinsky would be rare exceptions, for instance). The conflict in an abstract work can be expressed via a clash of shapes or colours or forms or even brushstokes. This is what the artist in this exhibition did not have. None of the works had a conflict, and was mainly meant to be purely decorative.

      I can agree that some Renaissance art can bore a person to tears, and it is one of the objectives of this blog to reduce the number of people who get bored by art )) Believe me, I’ve just been to seven pinacotecas in Italy, and it was never boring. Not a single bit.

      Reply
      1. Mary

        I don’t think Agnes Martin, a minimalist, created too much conflict in her abstract painting of a beach using color blocking, but if you ever get the pleasure of seeing it in person, it’s pretty captivating. It’s an experience. It triggers memory and a sense of peace. Everyone’s going to have their own taste in art so I have no intention of trying to persuade you otherwise. However, being extremist about which art is allowed to exist is a frighteningly limited view of the creative world. The Neue Gallery in NYC recently did an exhibit on the ‘Degenerate (Abstract) Art’ that was exiled from Germany during Hitler’s rule. You might want to check out this PBS special on it. Kandinsky was one of the artists who was exiled. Check it out: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/degenerate-art-exhibit-explores-nazi-assault-modern-art/

        Reply
        1. Mary

          All in all, I think finding the appropriate setting to view Abstract Art is pivotal to experiencing the mood of each painting. Not the mood of the artist, but the mood it stirs in the viewer.

          Reply
        2. artmoscow Post author

          You may want to check out the Godwin’s Law. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin's_law
          It is really disappointing you had to bring up Hitler in a debate so fast. It is also sad you believe I have a “frighteningly limited view of the creative world” because I don’t. While art is about emotions, a debate on art should be about reason. Otherwise, it descends into a fight and mud throwing which I see is flying right my way now.

          I can prove and explain, graphically, why Kandinsky, or Max Beckmann, or Van Gogh (also exhibited then) were great artists (without pathetic declarations about their greatness), like I did here: https://artmoscow.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/the-conflict-in-van-goghs-portraits/ or here: https://artmoscow.wordpress.com/2012/11/22/whatcha-lookin-at/

          I dare think I know more about the Degenerate art (which was 80% figurative, by the way, not abstract) than an average NYC gallery curator, that is someone who does not specialise in the relationship of the Bridge (Die Brucke) movement to and with Russian artists in Germany, thank you very much.

          The right way would be to provoke me with a question, “is there a conflict in minimalist art”, and, perhaps, learn something new, for there is an interesting type of conflict created by most minimalist works, and this conflict is often created in the mind of the observer, not on the canvas itself.

          I am sorry we seem to have missed this opportunity.

          Reply

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