Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thinking outloud.

OK, so while I am here. this is totally thinking out loud, or just dumping my thoughts out and trying to make sense of them here, publicly. Not saying that my views are correct and not sure if I am qualified to even say a word about Art with a capital A, but this is my blog, so I will say what I want. :-)

While I work through the why of MY painting, I have been going to the Art Institute a lot lately. Once and sometimes twice a week for the past few months. Checking out the new modern wing- trying to get it. OH, there is plenty there to love, I am not saying that there isn't- but there is a whole lot that sure seems like a bunch of the emperors new clothes to me.

And I am learning. Over the years I thought that Cy Twombly was possibly the worst artist to ever be put in a museum. The recent Cy Twombly show was actually an eye opener. Not that I am a fan, but seeing his work all together like that gave me a better understanding. And while not my cup of tea, actually very beautiful all together.

Thankfully they have changed the exhibits some and removed the loud clown on the toilet videos that made standing in the Gerhard Richter room impossible. (!!!) Even though Gerhard has really bridged the gap between modern and traditional, I bet he would have been pissed to hear that obnoxious clown while looking at his beautiful paintings.

You know, there is so much to consider. Like the really wonderful room, possibly the best room in the museum, over looking the incredible Millenium Park that holds nothing but 6 white panels. It makes me mad every time that I see that, like that room was stolen from some hard working painter. Even though have been in a thousand discussions about why that is art, and have even heard some good arguments for it, I struggle to accept it. I'm thinking that I could go stand there forever and not change my mind.

And who cares? It is like you can not challenge it anyway- else be labeled an enemy of art, closed minded or stupid.

Hard as I try to keep an open mind, still I get so opinionated about it... Which is why I keep going back, because if there is something to it, I will find it.

I do understand and enjoy some of the color field paintings, and think that they are easier to bitch about than to create. Much of the modern art is quite beautiful. But the piles of trash? The length of sausage casings? the three poles? I am really not interested in a gimmick or tricks, but there also needs to be something more than just old dead technique, and I feel like I am getting closer to that thing. (or maybe had too much coffee)

There will always be artists taking the easy way out by doing nothing, which IMHO is actually preferable to those who settle on exploiting others, for example, a mediocre painter exploiting the bravery of a fallen policeman, fireman or our troops to make up for missing skills. No one would dare criticize your compositions or color when you paint your own self with their glory.

Like I said, I am unqualified, and very possibly wrong. I do know that for the rest of my life I will be learning how to paint, and a huge part of that is always learning/considering/growing into what to paint. Who knows where this journey will take me, but I am pretty confident that it will not be to show empty canvas, a can of shit or to a whole career built on exploiting other people's accomplishments.


BobDodge said...

Interesting post, Lori. But why be so circumspect in criticizing art that doesn't speak to you? One doesn't have to be a Nobel prize winner to identify bad writing.

If it is to be successful, art must speak to an audience in a meaningful way. Your work may not be hanging in the National Gallery (yet), but you certainly have a refined enough eye to know whether something speaks to you. And if something at the Art Institute strikes you as a piece of junk, maybe it just is.

Anyway, I'm very sorry to read about the turmoil in your life recently. I hope things are getting back on track.
Bob Dodge

Lori Kiergaard said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for the comment, and good to see you around. :-)

You are right of course. I am allowed an opinion. It is just that I am not completely sure, yet.

I know that I was sure that the new wing was built "like an empty Ikea" but repeated visits have made me change my mind.

Hey, are you still painting?

BobDodge said...

I've taken a couple years off from painting, unfortunately. Work and life caught up to me. Getting back into it now. I'm interested in your posts on Munsell. I've picked up on some of Graydon's ideas and have been preparing lines of pre-mixed hues, all at chroma 6 and values 2,4,6,8. Ten hues plus neutral. We'll see how it works.

I haven't been to Chicago in years, but your comments have me curious to see the museums.

Lori Kiergaard said...

I have watched you with a brush, Bob. You are a good painter and should be painting.

The Art Institute is a great museum, and the city is getting more and more visitor friendly. But if you make a trip here, come in the summer. It is so much better in warm weather.

BobDodge said...

Good point, Lori. I've been to Chicago in winter. Brrr.

Lori Kiergaard said...

Brr is right. I was in the city today and it is the kind of cold that gets all the way in to the bones. It is a completely different city in the summer.