Contact Form * Contact Form Container */ .contact-form-widget { width: 500px; max-width: 100%; marg


Email *

Message *

The chain that tethers artists to their time,

The chain that tethers artists to their time,their time, and to that final ring in the wall, the museums
if you are interested in Art criticismthere is no one better to read than that Sancho Panza of the outback (he was Australian) Robert Hughes

Hughes was the great delfator or Art here he is in  his Popeian pastiche, which appeared in the New York Review of Books in 1984:
As Fame’s posterior bugle softly blows,
What stench now fills the unsuspecting nose?
Pervasive, fruity, sulphurous, full and ripe.
It is the odour of an Art World Hype!
The statue shudders and is proven soon
No solid monument, but a Balloon!
The condition that Hughes is describing is the mutation of creative experiment into fashion. This is the mortal sickness. He disparages the  stupidly compelling’ TV and how it deals wtih imagery not substance, not presence. He informs about artists and how they always judged by the  unwearying tribunal of the dead, he refers in to passing to the average American art student, raised like a battery chicken on a diet of slides.’Reproduction or Warhol,  is to aesthetic awareness what telephone sex is to sex:

One can’t help reflecting that when Walter Benjamin first diagnosed the effects of mechanical reproduction sixty years ago, it was to welcome it as a liberation. Works of art were being released from their aura, their unique place in space and time, their roots in the past, their ties to social ritual. Reproduction universalises, moving art towards the masses. His optimism contrasts sadly with the ‘worthless freedom’ of latter days

Hughes deas with mechanical reproduction referrin g to what gets left out in this process
-there is no mystery about what gets left out in a slide of a picture: its actual size. This means that the physical link between picture and its maker is gone, and with it, the on-looker’s relationship to it as an object in the world.

What is left is information, stylistic information, compositional information, iconographic information and so on, all disembodied. And yet it is on the basis of this often trivial information that an overwhelming proportion of the discourse about painting takes place, from the art historian in research to critics, collectors and curators making crucial choices. Far from being liberated by photography, a painter is likely to feel trapped in an obligatory misrepresentation.

Some painters, that is. For there is a choice: to swim with the current or against it. To swim with it is to agree that painting is merely one (classy) way among many of mediating images. This is the Warhol line, and it ends with the deplorable Jeff Koons in charge. To swim against it is to insist that there is a certain channel for the imagination, a way of relating to the world that is defined uniquely by painting.  Painting for Hughs this  symbolic manipulation of form in the light and substance of paint on a flat surface.  For Hughes, to paint, to draw,  to bring something alive on a flat surface of paper seems like a biological necessity.

Source Andrew Forge

Nothing if not critical by Robert Hughes
Collins Harvill, 429 pp, £16.00, November 1990, ISBN 0 00 272075  

No comments: