1
   

Picasso, Duchamp, Hoffman Root of Modern Art

 
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 12:16 am
Hi, Shepaints. Good observation: about the relative absence of Duchamp in gallerys. I suspect it is because his works--his later conceptual jokes--are not that good to look at. It's his thought about art, not his artistic creations, that have been so influential. In my humble opinion, he has been the Shiva of western art; Picasso (or Cezzane) has been its Vishnu.
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 06:27 am
Lovely analogy JLN.
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 11:53 am
Thanks for the response JL !! I need to do a little reading on Indian Gods before I understand your analogy !

What I found interesting about the French show were (to me) a couple of perfectly ghastly paintings in amongst the stupendous masterpieces! I know that sounds irreverent.......... an awful Picasso and a ghastly Matisse (realist painting of a coffee jug and some cups against a sea of patterned cloth) ...

Perhaps they were "transitional" paintings for those artists...

I once attended a lecture entitled "The eye is not an ear".....The
speaker's premise was that we have to put aside everything we
hear about the greatness of an artist and evaluate his or her work purely in visual terms....

He showed slides of some paintings from the Masters that had passages that did not work. To me it humanized these maestros, if that makes any sense!!!
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 12:22 pm
An eye is not an ear but I could put Duchamp in the category of Charles Ives - there is a visual dissonance in Duchamp within a framework of recognizable shapes from "Nude Descending a Staircase" to the "Large Glass." This conflict of images is present even in Hockney. However, Picasso also indulged in this same dissonance of imagery and Hoffman's blocks of color energy has that same reading. Rauschenberg and Johns probably were the two artists that brought these together -- they were considered as much pop artists for their use of common objects as there were abstract expresssionistsand they distorted reality in much the same way as Picasso (there is allusion to cubism in Johns, especially the cross-hatch paintings). Their living in their studios in the same brownstone in New York (okay, and their liason as brief lovers) was a pivotal event in the course of art. Stella, Larry Nivens, and many other artists were exploring similar territory which lead to most of the pluralistic styles of today, conceptual art being one of them. Except that conceptual art owes so much to Duchamp, they can't entirely receive the credit. I would place Picasso on the emotional side of the spectrum, Duchamp on the intellectual side and Hoffman somewhere in between. If someone can think of an early abstractionist that my be more influential, I'd be interested. Duchamp began with abstraction more akin to Kadinsky than anyone else but I haven't been able to place Kadinsky's constructionism as influential on anything but Op Art. A lot of Pollock's movement of shapes is out of Kadinsky (and Miro) but in trying to pin this down to major influences, I came to the conclusion that these were the three artists who had broken away from the past in the most impactful way. DeKooning was a strong contender as he did being in the 40's and is still for me the most important figure in the abstract expressionism genre.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 12:25 pm
Love that analogy, also, JL. Where would Hoffman come in?
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 07:43 pm
LW....I read a definition of art once that equated art with practical skill.... What disturbs me about the conceptual movement is that we end up with intellectual ideas that have no substance in practical terms.....The Tate prizewinner whose art was an empty room with the lights switching on and off is an example....

It seems to me that much of the cutting edge art has agreeably deliciously intellectual but completely elitist language....It has no
practical and real substance. I think it is what is termed "dematerializing the material object". I understand why people get enraged and completely disenchanted.........
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 07:45 pm
.......who among us wouldn't want to have painted "Nude
Descending a Staircase?"
0 Replies
 
JoanneDorel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 22 Nov, 2002 07:56 pm
Shepaints I agree and find minimalism is some times hard to take. I do have a great story about it. The daughter of a friend of mine a model was in NYC and was invited to a fancy opening at a prestigious gallery. Well she said when she arrived she got some wine and sat down. She asked the person next to her where the art was and he said, "you are sitting on it".
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 12:30 pm
art
Excellent analysis, LW. I would, as you did, put Duchamp at one end (the intellectual end) of your continuum, but I would have trouble with Picasso and Hoffman (forgetting everyone else for the moment). I do not see them perched on the same continuum. Picasso is clearly the "opposite" of Duchamp in his emotionalism, his dedicating to the dramatic. But Hoffman's focus it seems is on aesthetic excitement. I consider this quite different from the dramatic, almost literary, emotional values of Picasso. Hoffman "blocks of color energy" (was that your helpful phrase?) are at the heart of Abstract Expressionism for me(aesthetic intensity: even when it's soft). For me ART can never be reduced to conceptualisms; it must be AESTHETIC. It must speak to us directly in a way that bypasses our conceptual apparatus. This is why I consider Duchamp the Destroyer (Shiva) of Western art, but Picasso, Cezanne, and now Hoffman, the Creators (Vishnus) of it, CONTRIBUTING, as they have, to our aesthetic inventory.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 03:47 pm
Of course, I am using the images of Vishnu and Shiva incorrectly here. There is no bad-guy/good-guy here. It is the Hindu view of reality that it is fundamentally a process of change. Change (which is omnipresent) always involves ending and beginning. Even when we put a dot on an otherwise crowded canvas, we have (as Shiva) destroyed the previous configuration and (as Vishnu) have created another one. Further, even if we do nothing to the canvas, it is constantly changing physically at microscopic levels. And even the same viewer, when he returns to see it again, has himself changed and thus sees the painting as different. Heraclitus' observation that we cannot step in the same river twice is true not only because the river is always changing, but because WE are also always changing. Vishnu and Shiva make up, conjointly, the God (i.e., Reality) Brahma. What I would like to know about Hindu theology is if Brahma is also always changing.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Tue 26 Nov, 2002 04:26 pm
I like the direction of your thought, JL -- Duchamp virtually dismantled the conventions of art and restated his ideas in imagery that doesn't especially rely on compostion, color or any of the ideas we associate with aesthetics.
One can easily call it roiling the pot! Picasso explored emotional responses using very calculated distortion even if it is easy to see the influence of a primitivism derived from African and other ethnic art. Hoffman started essentially from scratch to build up an image based on volumes of pure color. Even though their are what one can call shapes and forms in Hoffman, there is a basic formlessness and he didn't depart that much from convention composition as far as how the pictoral plane worked.

Conceptual art is a bonefide visual expression of ideas and I know I wouldn't try to analyze how the judges minds work in deciding which works are exceptional. It's a world of general symantics that many aren't willing or aren't trying to understand. Of course, these works being judged against other genres of art seems ludicrous but in this world of pluralism, it's the impact of the piece that was created, not how it was executed. It goes back to not judging a piece of art based on the materials used to produce it. There was an artist I sold in the past who would use metalic leaf in his abstract paintings -- he was a lyrical painter. I'd hear salespeople tout the fact that he would use 24K gold leaf, as if that had anything to do with the merit of the piece. I was showing another artist in my gallery that used printer's foils within his abstacts and they'd be covered with oil and/or acrylic glazes and other media incorporated into the composition.

Anyway, Duchamp's art is conceptual and most of the art in the major galleries and reproduced the major magazines is either partially or fully bound with an intellectualism that's as potent as the religious themes of classic art. The use of color to produce a response (on the artists himself, bear in mind, as the viewer is going to respond in their own way) is Hoffman. The brash, expressionistic distortions of reality are Picasso's influence. Duchamp's intent was not to distort reality but were his own attempts at his own reality.
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Nov, 2002 07:09 pm
....and speaking of dismantling the conventions of art as we know
it, enfant terrible of British art, Damian Hirst has constructed a piece which will accompany the next British mission orbit in REAL
outta space.....It is made of unconventional materials that technology will be able to track from earth to out there......THE FIRST ARTIST IN SPACE ...this is art history in the making.......
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 30 Nov, 2002 07:52 pm
That sounds very Duchampian! More shock of the new.
0 Replies
 
shepaints
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 09:22 am
...From the Globe and Mail, Toronto, Nov 29, 02

Damian Hirst, the British artist who pickled a shark and displayed sliced livestock preserved in formaldehyde, is heading for outer space.

Hirst showed off his latest creation Thursday: a tiny painting
commissioned as part of a Martian mission.

The palm sized art-work, a miniature version of one of Hirst's
multicoloured spot paintings, is to be aboard the European Space
Agency's Mars Express mission next year.

The mission will carry a British landing probe, Beagle 2, designed
to search the planet's surface and atmosphere for signs of past or present life.

Hirst's work has a utilitarian function- the brightly coloured dots
embedded in an aluminum plate will be used instead of a standard
colour chart to calibrate the probe's instruments after it lands on
Mars.

"Not in my wildest dreams wold I have thought about making an artwork that would actually travel to the red planet," said Hirst, 37.

.....The mission is to blast off from Kazakhstan in June and land on
Mars six months later........
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 1 Dec, 2002 12:56 pm
Artists should be envious!
0 Replies
 
firenze pensaforte
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 02:12 am
It would be difficult to select the most influential artist of all named.
That would depend upon the period one was discussing, as well as
the artist who would choose from the vast array of artists' works he views.
In terms of style, I don't think Hofmann was a revolutionary...he was a great teacher, and understood what revolutionary artists of all periods (particularly the 20th century) were trying to accomplish...and...he could convey this understanding better than any of his contemporaries to his students.
In terms of Hofmann's style, abstract-expressionism, he must be considered beholden to Kandinsky, who in the early years of the 20th century, ca. 1904, was painting lyrical abstract expressionist paintings.
Of the three, I do believe that Picasso was the greatest artist and that his work will be the most enduring. In painting, his personal contribution and revolution lies in the reinvention of form creation, first seen in the famous Demoiselles d'Avignon.
As for Duchamp, his ability to create works of art out of ideas, is
his contribution. That does not mean that his works of art are
"beautiful", only that they have been created by him. His influence on recent contemporary art make him, in my opinion, a greater figure than he actually is. I believe one can make the case that without Picasso's freedom in handling form and in combining differing forms from differing
objects in his painting, Duchamp's sculpture would not have been created.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 10:21 am
The reason I listed Hoffman instead of Kadinsky is that the later did not seem to me to have had that much influence on the abstractions of today -- he doesn't have enough of the extemporaneous spirit. His images are constructions and his colors are out of romantic painting. If anything, his compositional designs seem to have more influence on, say, Duchamp's "Large Glass." Of course, his influence can be seen in the art of the modern era but I had to pick between them. Hoffman's colors were what pushed me over the line on a decision. I do see the validity of your opinion that Picasso had more influence over Duchamp than Hoffman but how about Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Richter, DeKooning, Warhol, and Bueys? I was rather aiming at the art of the 50's and 60's as the pluralism of today has influences of all three artists and those of that period. The other artist I considered was Miro. Matisse would have to be considered if considering the figurative painters of the last thirty years.
0 Replies
 
Equus
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 10:33 am
Cubism I think was a more influential movement than dada. Although I like Duchamp much more than Picasso. I am not very familiar with Hoffmann.
0 Replies
 
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 05:44 pm
art influences
Nice exchange; I know we'd make a quantum step forward once Firenze entered the room.
0 Replies
 
Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Dec, 2002 06:36 pm
Different viewpoints, different ideas -- that's where we all end up forming our opinions, I hope. I know mine aren't written in stone -- I've adjusted them through the years as I listen to other voices, other minds.

I know cubism turned the tide toward modernism and it actually began with Cezanne's later landscapes. Cezanne is consistently credited with breaking out of the mold and forging new visual concepts that lead to abstract art. I do believe that as Picasso drew away from cubism towards a minimalism in his late work which relied on almost nothing but linear form, cubism became a part of art history but didn't influence composition as much as Cezanne's work in its more elemental form. Of course, it melds together and becomes more ambiguous after the 60's except perhaps in the "pattern painting" of the early 70's which did lead to much of anything. Well, except for Jasper John's cross-hatch paintings which became the antithesis of the style.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2023 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 01/31/2023 at 08:19:11