Today’s Picture, 11/23/13

At the Art Institute of Chicago, November 2013.

15 Comments on “Today’s Picture, 11/23/13”

  1. Have you shown Athena Ferris Bueller yet?

    I ask because I saw it nearly too late for it to mean much to me. Most of the movie was amusing, you know, but nothing special, I thought. I really felt like I was missing out on the same manic excitement my former classmates seemed to hold for the film. I could see why they would have liked it when they were younger, but I felt like I’d missed that window.

    But then we get to the scene with Cameron at the art museum…and for whatever reason, that just makes it all suddenly click for me. That’s the sorta pivot point in the movie for me. (Not the car, because while I understand that’s when Cameron takes actions to free himself from his dad’s approval, I think the impetus comes in the art museum.)

    And then too, I’m an insane art museum junkie. I could spend hours getting lost in there. Falling into a work of art and extending it over my reality is a special experience, akin to what I used to feel when I was religious. (I think reading is like that too–you take the art, you extend it through your subconcious, you feel like it shapes your reality for a while.)

  2. Seeing this picture, and all I can think of now is Howard Hessman saying “It’s the flag of Japan!”

  3. If this is artistic, then any paint store’s display of paint samples (paint chips) is a masterpiece!

  4. @MineOnly & Stuart: Abstract color field paintings are technically art. Some are even aesthetically complex:
    Unfortunately, the simplicity of most (nothing with which there is inherently wrong) compels armies of overfluffed art critics to wax bullshitic because art education embeds a deep-seated fear of any work from which endless analyses cannot honestly be wrung to let other critics and the aficionados for whom they perform know how brilliant and insightful they are.

  5. I’m a big fan of abstract color field paintings–they make me think thinky thoughts about color and form. They can be simple, like Mark Rothko’s, or as deeply complex as a mandala, like many of Piet Mondrian and Frank Stella’s pieces.

    I went to the Seattle Art Museum’s exhibition of Aboriginal Art three or four times last year, and every time I was struck by the similarities between the 20th Century post-War Western abstract expressionism, the Australian aboriginal arts on display, and certain traditional Polynesian abstract tattoo patterns. Geometry, order, and abstraction seem peculiarly human to me, and the ability to draw (or paint) a straight line is not something to be scoffed at, but rather is the double-handshake that allows us such feats of engineering as Brunelleschi’s Dome and the Chrysler Building.

    The “my kid could draw that” comments make me want to point out to the speaker that that is AMAZING, & not something to be scoffed at. The impulse to create abstract and expressionist forms that may be simple or complex, to use line, color, and tonality to convey meaning, whether by a child or an adult… that’s AMAZING! And it’s totally art.


  6. This reminds me of the book by Stephen Baxter, “The Light of other Days”. Basically technology has enabled people to view anytime/place, but certain events are so heavily viewed people are relegated to watching other people view the event on their screen…. Kind of like this photo of a photographer taking a picture of a painting and being viewed on my screen.

  7. @mintwitch: I agree paintings in this style have value. I just think many art critics miss it because they’re too busy naval gazing, in my opinion which could’ve been expressed more humbly and a little less scoffingly :)

    And, as you pointed out, the style wasn’t really invented by modernism. Ancient cultures did it long before them, from Aborigines to Polynesians to the Far East to, well, even Renaissance Italy…

  8. Gulliver: I think I was responding more to MineOnly and the phantom voices in my head that strongly resemble various (annoying) relatives, than to you. :)

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