Thursday, December 21, 2006

Angels on the Head of a Pin (Open Thread)

With trepidation that this might put off (bore) the very sort of incipient collectors we were brainstorming on resources for yesterday, I found the discussion the thread prompted fascinating (in the way that scholars once found it fascinating to debate how many angels might fit on the head of a pin, perhaps, but...). Still, because the conversation that sprung up is important to me, but I'd like to keep that thread for resources suggestions (or debates about whether learning art history is important for new collectors), I'm gonna graft that part of the discussion there into this new post (which means, please feel free to make your same points again here).

To get the ball rolling, I'll start with the comment by Bill Gusky, who noted:

In our current post-art-historical era, are developments still really taking place -- developments in the sense of a continuity of progress of some sort?

It appears more to me that trends emerge and recede but no true movements in the art historical sense seem to be rising into prominence. It's quite exciting -- makes you wonder how this will be viewed in fifty years.
This follows from an excellent discussion on Bill's own excellent blog that you should read as well.

To throw fuel on the fire, I'll note that I recall vividly the first conversation I had with an artist after reading Danto's collection, After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History. It was with a young artist and the idea that Art had ended nearly drove her to distraction. "How can you know, from this vantage point?" was her refrain in disputing the notion. I had to agree that it was impossible to be certain.

In yesterday's thread, Marc Snyder argued though:

It was really only the modernist true believers that emphasized the idea of progress in art, which could lead you to believe that a close inspection of what was going on around you could somehow allow you to deduce what the next big thing would be.
Now I'll confess to being (or having been) a modernist true believer, so it's hard for me to dispute that objectively.

However, last night in another conversation with an abstract painter, I discussed the issue of whether or not developments were indeed still taking place. This painter, whose approach to abstraction is so circular it begins to make one dizzy to discuss it (which is a very nice feeling in that context, I have to say), suggested that perhaps Pluralism is indeed a significant development in art history in and of itself. I can't reconstruct his exact argument without getting knee-deep into his process, which I don't have time for, but it was a rather convincing suggestion.

Indeed, the opening up of art history, whereby artists are not excluded from this or that exploration because of geography, gender, or even time, would seem a logical next stage after the boundary-bursting efforts of Post-Modernism, no? But then that demands to be answered in the context of intent. Analytical Cubism was a very intentional development in Modernism, for example. Which leads me to wonder whether developments happen by accident? If not, then perhaps our post-PoMo era indeed is "Development" free.


Anonymous onesock said...

When I read Danto's book as a wee lad years ago, I interpreted "an end of art" as more of an end to any internally sustainable progression of art. I think that he left things open for progress and invention produced from external factors and influences such as biography, sociology, technology,etc.

What ended was an end to the single metanarrative of art where an educated person could recognize (or be socialized into understanding)a linear progression of developments.

Now, when we consider art of say the 90s what comes up often is that artists were involved with issues of the body and identity. Since we cannot analyze this development strictly in terms of an internal "this art begat this art which begat this art" , we must look at other influences to make sense of it. The fact that many of the artists came thru the previous decade dealing in one way or another with the AIDS epidemic may have influenced the inquiry into the body. And broader cultural and international market driven factors brought in multiculturalism and allowed more voices which naturally produced introspective, identity searching and proclaiming artwork.

Now I do think an interesting question is whether or not the singular meta narrative ever really existed in the first place.

12/21/2006 09:03:00 AM  
Anonymous liz said...

Just to help out, we don't talk in terms of a postmodern. The post modern is now generally referred to as a dialect, a hybrid, of the modern. Expanded modern is now the usual term. Skool helps with terms!

12/21/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder the same thing, about the myth of the meta-narrative.

In any case, Art as it was then known has ended--Modern Art is over--and the next exciting chapter is not only pluralistic in a multicultural sense but also media-wise. Its definition must now include all sorts of time based media and music and performance.
I teach teenagers (who may be the wave of the future) and they seem to be born with fluency in any form of layering--collage, montage, bricolage...they just naturally make stuff this way for themselves and each other all the time, from poems composed on torn papers to mix tapes to crazy digital stuff.
They are also born already saturated with irony. I try to tell them that back in the day you had to earn your ironic pose through various tests of coolness. Now even toddlers understand double coding.
It's interesting to see.

12/21/2006 09:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I mentioned the kids because with them the noticible change in the value system at large is clear. Along with the end of the linear narrative as a definer of histories, the belief in geniuses and towering intellectuals has been pretty thoroughly shaken, except as a kind of nostalgic vestige of simpler times. Everyone knows about their "15 mins of fame" and the relativity of greatness.
Back in modern times, artists could really believe in their own potential for greatness, the transformative power of art, and a certain kind of muscular, materially based spirituality (spiritual materialism?-a sort of alchemy?)--so earnestly going for a very intentional development like analytical cubism held a deep meaning that can't be sustained today.--anon10:15:15

12/21/2006 10:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The idea of pluralism applies more to an interpretation of today's art than within the art itself. It's the increase and range of influence that is different today, I think, mostly because of changes in access. This is true for both artists and art historians -- there are limitless resources to draw from, but are there infinite variations in the artwork itself? Doesn't look that way to me. It's rare that I see anything these days in the galleries or museums that doesn't fit into some familiar category.

12/21/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous ml said...

The developments seem to be more about marketing - the craze for young US artists, now young European artists. In a way this parallels political reporting - instead of being about issues, it's about the race itself.

I also have to say that as diverse as art production is supposed to be, there is a remarkable sameness. For years I've been comparing current art practices to International Gothic - variations on a few well worn themes. Instead of liturgical themes, these are historical movements as the theme.

At any rate, have a fabulous holiday season, Edward. You and Bambino stay warm, well and well fed.

12/21/2006 11:09:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

It seems fairly clear to me that "Modernism" is finished. I ‘m using the term "Modernism" historically, the way it was used to label the thread of art since 1840, or roughly since the development of photography and the onset of the industrial revolution. Photography, released painting from the requirement of documentary description (depiction) which ultimately lead to the exploration of abstraction and fostered Modernist notion of "progress". I also tend to agree with Liz that the "postmodern" is just the final chapter of "Modernism".

What was called "pluralism’ for a while, was less of a movement than a description of the start of a structural change in how art could be developed and inserted into the culture. What I see as the causes for the breakdown of the Modernist idea of hegemonic style is increasing world population accompanied by an increase in the creation of wealth at the end of the 20th century. In the postwar period, up through say the 1970’s, there was a visible increase in the number of artists. At the same time the art market expanded which provided the necessary economic support (stimulus) for the growing number of artists. With an increasing number of practicing artists, essentially the water flooded over the stylistic banks. Accelerating these changes were the developments of various new media as a result of the information revolution.

I think these changes have redefined the overall structure of how modern or contemporary (used in a temporal, not stylistic sense) will develop in the 21st century. It is a bifurcation in the path of recent history from which there is no turning back.

I have been thinking about these issues for awhile and can speculate on what I think it means for the course of art going forward.

I would expect to see stylistic movements continue but in all media. The need to identify and categorize seems to be a human instinct. It is a way of relating artwork to the time, a way of making it fashionable both in the fashion sense and intellectually. At any given time, any media or theoretical position may become "fashionable", but I suspect this will be more of an issue of heightened visibility, that everything else will continue.

I also think that anon 9:58 is correct with the implications she is making from her observations of young people. The information revolution has resulted in the "mash up", the combining of various sources as new synthetic tool for creating. It’s not that these possibilities didn’t exist before, but that technology has made them more accessible. As time passes, the degree to which artists are embedded in a technological information driven culture from birth will make many of these issues second nature, an instinctive way of thinking.

Onesock, reveals another characteristic when he mentioned that "artists were involved with issues of the body and identity". While he was referring to a particular moment, the point about dealing with "issues" indicates a shift in the focus of how art might be made. It represents an expansion away from Modernism’s formalist concerns, art commenting on art, towards an art which can comment on everything and anything. I might use an analogy with the written word, with literature, poetry, reportage, novels, fiction, pulp fiction, etc. Regardless of the media, art, in the sense we are discussing it, is primarily visual but has the same capabilities to engage culture and what it means to be human.

In my opinion, the changes occurring today are revolutionary and have little precedent in the past. Past developments in (western) art occurred is a much smaller arena with fewer artists and fewer patrons. By constraint, this creates a situation where hegemonic styles can occur because they are limited by the number of participants.

12/21/2006 11:25:00 AM  
Anonymous David said...

bnon: ...I'd advise anyone trying to get some perspective to be sure and hear a topflight (and articulate) artist talk about their work in person ...Understanding that the most complex artworks emerge from actual persons with actual personalities who devote their lives to making art can be intoxicating.

I'd have to go along with bnon's advice from yesterday, and of course add watching documentaries that have interviews with artists.

I can't speak as a collector, but as an artist I find these to be much more engaging entrees to the world of art than reading art history or criticism. If someone gets interested enough in the art itself and the ideas of the people who make it, they'll naturally be drawn to the history and criticism to find out more.

12/21/2006 11:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Ethan said...

I think there is still development in art, it's just that the yardsticks we use to measure it keeps changing.

My overly-simplified, stick-figure-like view of Western art history since the Renaissance is that up until Modernism, art was largely about its technical mastery. Modernism was all about originality... but that was driven into the ground by Minimalism. Post-Modernism, with its irony and appropriation, was a reaction to Modernism's obsession with originality.

So what's the current umbrella art movement? I think it's an attempt to reengage with the general public. We lost them with Post-Modernism. The trend of Process Art is (I think) an example of want to connect with the people--it is easily appreciated for the sheer effort that goes into it.

So anyway, all the above is to say: Yes there is still development in art, but to try to measure it in terms of vibrant originality is to judge it using the values of Modernism (which makes no more sense than to judge a dessert by how spicy it is).

12/21/2006 12:12:00 PM  
Blogger kurt said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

12/21/2006 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Cedric Caspesyan said...

I definitely agree that art is still and always developmental.

But the development now works like a weaving. Like evergrowing the internet. They are myriads of inter-influences at play (I guess you're all calling this "pluralism"), and artists are simply helping in connecting together disparate models.

I also strongly agree that the age of now is an age of categorization. In fact I think that's what deep intellectuals are debating right now in Cambridge (of course they have their own definition of what Category means, as always).

But yes, when you go to Art Basel, the most urgent feeling that comes to mind is how you are going to categorize all what you see. You can only decide what path you'll be following once you've get a sense of your priorities, or else you are constantly wandering and subject to the influence and guiding of others.


Cedric Caspesyan

12/21/2006 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

I am thiking of the graph Al Gore shows in his film of world population. In my life time population will go from 2 billion to 9 billion.

Add in the increasing interconnectedness and the development in our culture that accepts that the entire world is worthy of attention and you have a situation that makes such a narrative simply impossible.

It is not Art that has changed but history. We are also in the process of re-evaluating the past in light of our new understanding of our own formerly narrow view of history, opening out and de-centralizing the narrative. Think of the Met's timeline.

I am with Onesock when he says the real question is whether the narrative we all learned in school really reflects what the world was like. I believe that over time the story we think of as modernism will come to be seen as a small slice of what was happening in the 20th century.

Artists today, living with this new openess, can work free of the need to fit into pre-established categories and not risk being overlooked.

So maybe art has changed, in Manhattan anyway.

12/21/2006 02:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

I think it's worth considering that movements, per se, don't really exist. There were only people working. What we call movements are groupings of people working in like ways.

So pluralism and postmodernism are not so much a consequence of modernism but a product of the fact that more artists exist than at any time in human history. Consequently, the question comes down to whether any of these practitioners are producing work that is both original and good. The answer, I think, is yes, although it comprises a small percentage of the supply.

12/21/2006 06:02:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why are more artists working now than at any time in history (if this is true)(is it?)??--anon 10:15 :15

12/21/2006 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Sure its true. Robert Hughes wrote in 1980 that there were more artists in NYC than there were people in Florence during the entire Quattrocento. Why? Because there are more people, period.

12/21/2006 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but why in this day and age would so many choose to become artists ?--i am not just being difficult--i am really wondering--there are lots of things people did in italy in those days besides art that nobody does anymore

12/21/2006 08:14:00 PM  
Blogger George said...


The world population is greater. If the number of artists as a percentage of the population stays the same, the count gets bigger.

If the art market had stayed the same size it was in, say the 60's, the number of artists would be capped by attrition because there would be means of financial support. Today, there are roughly 100 times as many billionaires as there was 25 years ago. On the Forbes list of fat cats, 25 years ago the list was comprised of all millionaires with one or two billionaires. Last I checked there was something in the vicinity of 900 billionaires worldwide, a millionaire doesn't even make the list anymore.

Obviously the wealthy do not all collect art, but it is a reasonable sampling of how wealth worldwide has increased in the last two decades. If there are more practicing artists and more collectors it would be reasonable to assume that tastes and opinions on art will vary. As a result we find a broader range of styles which find patronage and therefore the ability to continue. In general, I think there are quite a few people who would like to be artists, especially when they are young. Again the numbers are pared by attrition, it’s a hard life, people make other choices out of practicality.

As someone noted above, the line of history as it is presented in the books changes as tastes vary. In the twentieth century it appears there was only room (patronage) for one avant guard and artists who didn’t quite fit the mold were marginalized. What the books don’t tell you is that these other artists were all part of a relatively small community and participants in the dialogue. Of course, dominant artistic personalities come into play, Picasso was the dominant figure in painting for a half century

12/21/2006 09:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

14:24 Because it is possible. Remember most have another job--but still it's a phenomenon, I agree, and not a bad one.

12/21/2006 09:39:00 PM  
Anonymous onesock said...

From what I have read about the recent Hammer Museum exhibit called "Societe Anonyme:Modernism for America", it really presents an alternative view of Modern art in the way it included such diverse works, combined works by artists from both sides of the Atlantic, and idiosyncratic works by more recognized artists like Man Ray, Calder, Joseph Stella, etc. The Societe was formed by Katherine Dreier and Duchamp as a way of promoting avant garde artists in the US and even went so far as to create furnished showrooms with the art on display to demonstrate how one could live with the new art. Dreier was a great and influential force in supporting avant garde art especially in the years before the MOMA. She believed that all one needed to understand art was to live with it. What exactly is Dreier's importance in art collecting in this country? I would imagine very great.

I guess my (and others) skepticism about the linear thing is that if it is a silly notion today to claim a singular dominant story (even though Bush would not like it so) why wouldnt it be a silly notion when my grandparents were young and spree? I realize the story presented by the Hammer show is not the dominant one and many of those artists were and are marginalized, but it seems that this show and others introduce ways of thinking alternatively.


Were those alternate stories considered all along and any dismissal or marginalization was a natural, objective consensus around the idea of "quality". Of course I am not including as legitamate any historical marginalization due to racial hegemony and colonialism.

oh and i think there are so many artists today because there is something in the water!

12/21/2006 10:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Art is unique among creative disciplines in that its primary marker is presentation within an art context, rather than its form. That isn't true of, say, music. Music, made at the equivalent minimum standards that would qualify an object as art, would be unendurable. And if the audience for art had expectations as high as the audience for music, there would be far fewer artists.

12/21/2006 11:28:00 PM  
Blogger George said...

Music is a poor choice for an analogy. I suspect there is just as much disagreement over peoples tastes in music as there is in art. Of course we have popular music, we also have popular art.

12/22/2006 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Tim said...


Please come to my gallery for some music events, and be sure to bring your ear-plugs. (and I am not kidding)

Next time your in LA of course . . .

12/22/2006 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Gusky said...

Edward, thanks for the kind words and continued inspiration.

Prof. Onesock's skepticism of the linear story makes sense to me, particularly when one considers the way in which dozens of other narratives had to be weeded out to develop "the" Western art-historical narrative. Considerations far outside artistic ones -- geography, economics, privilege and politics among them -- carried undue weight. Post-WW2, with the world a smaller place, philosophers of an opportunistic bent entered (perhaps created as we know it today?) the art critical arena, and, working in league with a developing NYC art infrastructure, continued to refine the story.

Even though I share Onesock's skepticism of the story I must admit a degree of gratitude for it. The Vasarian / Greenbergian / Whoever-Else-Ian story provides a decent starting place for getting a grip on art.

Edward's assertian that this pluralistic era is another step along the way, in a larger history we could hardly comprehend at this point, seems to make sense.

We're ransacking the art historical era, freely and with deserved impunity. As nearly as I can tell the philosopher-critics are running for cover or keeping a low profile, while the artist-critics seem for the moment to be ascendent.

This can't be explained in terms of previous eras; it's really quite new although it's been going on in some form since what, the late 80's?

George's idea of art across all media as being a part of this era: to this I would add that, from artists who are characteristic of this era, I might expect to see pluralism extending into practice.

Quite a few artists' bodies of work feature pieces that don't resemble one another, almost to the point that one might wonder if they were made by the same artist.

It's very important to work serially; we're still working through ideas, and many permutations of each idea are still to be expected.

But in the pluralistic era I would expect artists to define themselves less as painters / sculptors / video artists, less through any style, and more to develop their creative identities through a variety of media, and, within any given medium, through a broad variety of ideas.

In other words for me the era of one artist known for one thing that greatly dominates his/her output for decades is really part of the past. It says, "This is how art should be" at a time when the manifesto is dead.

It might be fun to write a manifesto to fit the pluralistic art era, realizing that such an effort is absurd from the get-go since no one would follow it. That's characteristic of the times.

Also there's an 'artist collective' movement of sorts going on. Characteristic of the times, it appears that within a piece or installation by a movement, no individual's contribution is distinct. Also, the collectives sometimes seem to appear and dissolve spontaneously. This makes sense, in a way.

If there's any progress in all of this, perhaps it's evolved realization.

In the Vasarian narrative there's sort of an evolution of understanding of human perception as it relates to the illusion of depth and various kinds of depiction.

I would see it as progressive that we've begun to evolve the realization that the sense that you're one thing and not another -- the classic 'ego' sense -- is entirely illusory.

For me the thought that fine art should present this realization to humanity solves a problem of relevance that I've grappled with for some time now.

12/22/2006 07:49:00 AM  
Blogger George said...

From a longer point of view the ‘Western art-historical narrative’ has a verisimilitude which comes from distance. The ability to judge and evaluate artworks within a long established tradition that exists within the classical mediums (painting/sculpture). While personal tastes may vary, Franklin’s notion of "good" has validity. In retrospect we can judge some artworks to be clearly better than others, and a consensus can be reached. Modern art (post photography/1840) redefined these traditions in a fairly radical way which is still being assimilated.

The canons of quality, can grow and extend, but like the discoveries in physics by Einstein, the new canons need to be extensions of our perceptions which have backwards compatiblity with the canons of the past. The artworks of Picasso, Pollock or Duchamp do not negate the works of the great artists which preceded them, they are seen as building on their achievements. The "dominant story" is partly subject to intellectual fashion and tastes of the moment, but over time it tends to level out. The new media will develop their own traditions, their own canons of quality which will be available to make judgements about future artworks,

"We're ransacking the art historical era" because we can, The information revolution at the end of the twentieth century has made this possible in a way which did not exist before. While this "ransacking" contributes to the phenomena loosely described as pluralism, I still think the expansion of visible styles and approaches (pluralism) is being shaped more by the increasing size of the art community, the increasing number of artists.

Bill notes, "I might expect to see pluralism extending into practice." While I think this is a valid observation, I wonder if this is occurring more because artists "can", the permission exists, and it provides a new basis for exploration. Ultimately, I believe this approach will have to become syntactic, artists will have to create a personal identifiable context for their work in order to accommodate the "visibility" constraints of the marketplace.

I would also agree that the era of the dominant artist is probably past. When I first mentioned this point, it was in the context of a much smaller art community and a burst period of rapid exploration.

Bill also said I would see it as progressive that we've begun to evolve the realization that the sense that you're one thing and not another -- the classic 'ego' sense -- is entirely illusory. I’m not sure if I quite understand what he meant. From my point of view, an artist work is all about ‘ego’, the desire to leave a mark.

12/22/2006 09:49:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

wonderful comment George!!

artists will have to create a personal identifiable context for their work in order to accommodate the "visibility" constraints of the marketplace.

I'm not sure I entirely understand the second half of that, but I do believe artists are already creating personal (solitary) identifiable contests for their work. The individual manifesto, if you will...or is that not what you mean?

12/22/2006 09:57:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

"contests" = "contexts"

12/22/2006 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger George said...


I was referring back to Bills remark on Quite a few artists' bodies of work feature pieces that don't resemble one another, almost to the point that one might wonder if they were made by the same artist. I thought his comment touched on the dangerous side of the pluralist approach, the situation where the artists work looses its thread of personal identity.

At the moment I was writing, I was thinking of Nauman. I had spent many hours with an artist friend who had a very early Nauman, an odd looking sculpture made from some kind of greenish rubber or silicone. I liked it a lot but couldn’t explain why, it just had this particular and specific presence. Over the years, I find I get the same sense of presence from many of his other works in diverse mediums, it has something to do with his personality or philosophy I suppose, it’s syntactic.

My remark about the "visibility" constraints of the marketplace just refer to what I perceive as marketing issues, not really something I would be concerned with in the studio. While an artists body of work might be diverse stylistically, I believe that this diversity must be organized in some way which gives the work an identity, the mark of a specific artist. I’m not sure I would use the word manifesto, it’s probably something closer to a personal philosophy or vision. Except for brief periods of collaboration, for example Picasso and Braque in the 1907-14 period, I can’t think of a great artist whose work was not more or less uniquely identifiable

12/22/2006 10:53:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill: I would see it as progressive that we've begun to evolve the realization that the sense that you're one thing and not another -- the classic 'ego' sense -- is entirely illusory.

George: I’m not sure if I quite understand what he meant. From my point of view, an artist work is all about ‘ego’, the desire to leave a mark.

Ack! Ack!

I come down with Bill, here. The vast majority of comments on this thread define art history from external standards--that of labels, marketing, opinion, fame, money--all material standards. This completely ignores the fact that artmaking at its most honest is an inner process--the struggle to express the inarticulable, to explore the uncharted, to experience ever-greater depth and transcendence of ideas, emotions and perceptions. All this historical context is just the visible detritus of this process.

This process will not and cannot end until all humanity has arrived at such a state of inner peace and outer harmony that all egoistic striving ceases--and maybe then, art will only begin.

And I directly contradict you, George, that the primary motive for artmaking comes from the ego's need to leave a mark. For most artists this is probably true, particularly for the bad ones. But great artists are possessed by a force which transcends the ego, a force to which they must submit or die, a force which works through them, and is not willed by their egos. All the ego can do then is get out of the way.

12/22/2006 03:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Franklin said...

Music is a poor choice for an analogy. Pick another, George. Name a field for which a Master's degree allows more permissive standards.

Tim, thanks for the invitation. Self-abuse is not something I normally go for, but I'll stop by.

I'm siding with George on the ego issue. Anyone who thinks otherwise ought to go see a decent performance of Amadeus. The movie will do. There's no correlation between artistic talent and human, moral, or spiritual worth, either directly or inversely.

I do believe artists are already creating personal (solitary) identifiable contexts for their work

I think we're entering an age of little masters and no great ones: exactly these individual contexts. There is no larger context, which is why the fairs are such meaningless commercial frenzies and measurable only by dollars exchanged. Don't get me wrong - I think a more fashion-driven art world will discard lesser artists faster than the museums would - but it does make it difficult to find, or produce, sublime art experiences.

12/22/2006 10:24:00 PM  
Blogger carla said...

I took Bill's remark to mean we're realising there is no "my mark" to leave, whether or not that is my desire.

12/23/2006 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello to all. Interesting discussion.
It can be incredibly valuable to go back and read some danto, intro to postmodernism etc etc. Once you take a fresh look at this stuff you put yourself in a stonger position to bring some new thoughts to the question at hand - are there new art movements and what might they be? and is that question a viable one to start.
I think that more than a few posters have confused terms and their possible definitions. Pluralism doesnt
operate in terms of artists rejecting genre distinctions. Pluralism means everything can be art. As a result the history of art has come to an end (Danto). My opinion here regarding the question at hand - what we do have today is a tremendous increase in a certain type of dialogue with regards to contemporary art. Perhaps the desire to find a new 'movement' is rooted in the fact that it was writers who set out the names of most modernist movements. What is art writings' function without this opportunity?

12/23/2006 10:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Axio said...

Hi anon 103507pm

Critical Realism took over from postmodern back in the nineties when kids were still trying to figure....
Postmodern is well and truly over.
Art was hoped to be the new stream within pop culture. It flows steadily now within the confines of a pop culture. It is regulated. Artists add their nuance as long as the target audience can craft, engage, read, and tolerate it. The artist is one of the target audience: The average Joe and Jane trained up, good enough, and plentiful.

Thus simply art is easy to identify if you look. It is underground. It is radical. It is difficult. It's critical. It does not pretend.

Happy New Year.

12/28/2006 09:52:00 PM  

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