Friday, December 15, 2006

A Guide to Modern Art

I am, generally speaking, a big fan of so-called "modern art." Occasionally, however, a trip to the MoMA or -- in this case -- studying for my art history exam reminds me just how much I detest some of the exercises in idiocy that have been produced in the past century.

Take Marcel Duchamp, for instance. On the left we have Nude Descending a Staircase, perhaps one of my favorite paintings ever. On the right? A urinal. Flipped upside down, signed, and entitled Fountain. Now, I have no doubt that this is an intellectually stimulating piece, that it has sparked intense discussion about the nature of creation and authorship, blah blah whatever, but it is not art.

Here we have Kazimir Malevich. On the left is Suprematism, a quaint little study of color and form. On the right? Black. Really, it's almost as astonishing as Red, but not quite as insightful as White on White. Okay! We get it! The first time it's brilliant and ingenious and new -- the 28764th time, it's just annoying.

And the list goes on: Mark Rothko's fields of drab color, Dan Flavin's fluorescent lightbulbs (I mean, really), Gene Davis' arbitrary striping. Can someone revive the Renaissance, or at the very least bring back the impressionists? Please?

1 comment:

nicholas said...

hey daniella, this is nick muraglia (architecture, cc '08, littledrunknemo, etc ;P). i found this blog in a fit of procrastination (great stuff you have going on here, btw).
I don't want to get into a huge debate about modern art and the so-called "post-modern" (and... uh... the popomo) since i have a kajillion other things i *should* be doing right now... but I just wanted to say, we need to have a talk sometime about your disdain for the minimalist/dada/conceptual trends in 20th c. art, haha. i know a load of it sounds/looks like intellectual masturbation, but it was just SO necessary for the course of art history. I used to hate stuff like minimalism, but after taking a class on it, you kind of feel like it was the only RIGHT thing to happen in art.
ok i don't know why i even began posting this, and chances are you won't even read it... buuut... just wanted to say hey... and hope your finals are going well? haha. i will def check out this blog in the future, looks fun.