Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Artist-Writers Part I


As noted in my review of the
7th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhibition
at the Zhao B. Art Center in Chicago,
the above painting caught my eye.

Because even though it's a self portrait,
it steps back to be about self regard in general,
a much more frightening psychological subject
and suitable for Classical poetry

The artist was Brian Curtis who is
something of a classicist.

Perhaps if all of the other 149 artists in the self-portrait show
were as well,
he would not have been so remarkable.

But indeed, he was the only one offering gem-like quality and wry wit
instead of crude self expression and a clownish sense of humor.


As a professor,
he also goes around
to academic conferences
where he delivers papers on
topics like:

* "De-nuding the curriculum"
* "why n'art aint art"
* "a generation without studio training"
* "an ecosystem of interruption technologies:
the internet as a distraction, numbing, mind-altering substance"
* "Duchamps legacy"

.... and, of course :

* "A Voice Crying in the Wilderness"

where he tells us that:

I am an academic-leaning artist who was educated by modernists and who now finds himself teaching in a world that privileges contemporary anti-art practice. The pedagogical habitat that once supported the goal of fostering visual sensitivity, talent, craftsmanship, and creativity is fading rapidly from college level art school programs. This goal is being displaced - and increasingly replaced - by the de-skilling and dematerializing promotion of something called artist's attitude.

Truly a scholar
worthy to share the purple mushrooms
of those who live on Mount Shang.


Blogger marlyat2 said...

Interesting. I was just talking about the ideas of "de-skilling" and "dematerializing" on a blog of a friend who is doing a lot of painting and drawing...

September 02, 2011  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

"Curiously, the anti-cultural and de-civilizing influences in the radically politicized origins of contemporary anti-art practice are rarely a topic of discussion. As each year passes I become progressively puzzled by the homogeneous groupthink that dominates professional art organizations."

Enjoyed that link, Chris. I find these sorts of discussions very interesting for the light they shed on my own pursuits, particularly in poetry.

But I think there are signs of change--rebel artists, rebel ateliers. I notice a movement back toward content and narrative in paintings by a number of my friends, and I know quite a few whom one could never count in the camp of de-skilling and de-materialization.

September 03, 2011  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

Good review, Chris. Too bad they make you register and sign in to comment! Yawn. Can't deal with that at 1:16 in the morning.

September 03, 2011  
Blogger Robert said...

Marly I do hope you are right, I search for it but when I find it, it is ridiculed by the spin doctors and so many seem to have been brain washed. I’ll have a good look at what he has to say Chris.

September 14, 2011  

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