Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

More about art

If you haven't lat least glanced at the article I linked to in my previous entry, well, you really should at some point. Interesting stuff.

One point in particular caught my eye: "To truly judge your own feelings and opinion about a work of art, you need to look at it as if it were painted by a complete unknown, perhaps some student in another town, and then ask yourself what your opinion of that work would be then."

One of the stupidest notions in any field of art, in my opinion, is "The name makes it good." I remember hearing about a local museum which had received a donation of several "early Georgia O'Keefe works". These works were some of the of masterpieces this museum's collection (not a very big museum), and they were extremely proud of them. Recently, however, evidence indicated that these works might not be by Georgia O'Keefe after all.

And if they weren't by her, then they were worthless.

Excuse me? If they were great works when they were by Georga O'Keefe, they ought to still be great works if they're by Joe Schmoe. And if they stink now, that means they stunk before, too. Nothing about these pictures has changed, but their provenance has, and that makes all the difference. Garbage.

I do accept that there's a certain legitimate academic interest in the "early works" of a great artist or author. There's nothing inherently wrong with analyzing the ouevre of an artist as a whole, of trying to trace influences and ideas for later works back to the earlier ones. And, to that degree, I can see why a value is placed on otherwise unremarkable sketches and paintings.

But we're not talking about people who said "These works were noteworthy because they led to X or Y in her later career." No, these paintings were praised for themselves, for 'sensitivity' and 'power' and all that stuff critics like to talk about. They were considered Art, of interest to the public at large, not just to the critic or the student.

But if they're not by O'keefe, well, then, they're not of interest to anyone.

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