Monday, June 15, 2009

To Display Money

In discussing the relationship between art and money, Thompson touches on some interesting points which lead me to wonder why it is that donors continue to donate artwork or even funding to museums. For instance, Thompson notes that despite being urged by officials to list the value of their entire collection (which includes the “locked-away” portion) on their accounting sheets, museum curators refuse to do so on the grounds that they believe “revealing the true value of the collection would signal to donors that the museum has no need of philanthropy; they could simply sell or lease art to finance new acquisitions (187).” Adding to that, Thompson goes on to highlight the case of Burton and Emily Tremaine, a couple who discovered that when they simply gave a work to a museum it usually was placed held in storage for an extensive amount of time. However, when they sold a work to a museum, the museum often displayed the piece as well as generated promotion for it. They came to the conclusion that “curators most appreciated items for which they had to give up a large part of their acquisition funds (188).” Keeping that in mind, why is it do you believe that donors continue to donate when museums are so guarded and standoffish when it comes to being open about their possessions and economic state, and when curators seemingly displays only those works they purchased? Furthermore, do you agree with Thompson when he states then when curators do so “purchase price is presented to museum patrons as equal to value (188)?”

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Would you rather have an old shark or a fresh one?

Thompson contends that the best artists to look for in order to gain a successful investment are in the category of conceptual innovators or young geniuses (Thompson, 248). Do you agree with this broad generalization?

See any cracks within a theory...

Would you consider Galenson’s theory about the two geniuses completely logical? Are there only two major types of creators in the world? Review chapter three, especially from the reading 9/10 section, and argue whether or not he succeeds in defining this argument’s possible limitations. If he is correct, how so, or is there a major crack that can rip his theory apart?

In the eyes of the Beholder....

Thompson in The $12 Million Stuffed Shark brings into discussion the potential existence of insider trading in the art world – a topic which we also discussed in class. Thompson particularly addresses this controversial issue in regards to a museum using donor funds to purchase art created by one of its own trustees, as well as a museum director’s purchase of art by an artist who will be part of a show that is not yet announced (discussed in more detail on page 221). In a commodities market this is considered to be illegal insider trading called “front-running”. However, the art market defends such acts by insisting that they are beneficial to all involved. Thompson does not exclude dealers or auction houses from the accusations, bringing to light the often shared information between auction houses such cliental lists and a client’s available capital. In your opinion, do you believe that insider trading does exist in the art market and if so, do you believe its presence is so detrimental to the merit of art that the participants should be fully prosecuted under the law, or do you believe they should be merely reprimanded?

Also, if you’re like me and are not totally sure what insider trading is, here is a link to a definition/description of it by our fine government: :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What is Art History?

John Elderfield, senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art has remarked that "the true subject of art history is the narrative and analysis of the succession of innovations that have changed the practice of artists over the course of time."

Do you agree with this statement? If you do, give an example of evidence to support his claim.
If you do not agree, state why.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

About the Relationship Between the Creator and the Employed....

Do you feel that persons involved in the creation of a work other than the artist should be credited with involvment? For example, should Vic Hislop- the fisherman who caught the sharks used in both the original "Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living" and the updated version - have his name next to Damien Hirst's? Hislop arguably played a pivotal role in the creation of the work, being the individual who actually caught the shark. If so, shouldn't he then share in the profits from the selling of the work? If this is the case, should we not also acknowledge the employees of Warhol, and the aids to Michelangelo?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another About Pollock

When viewing the painting in question from Who the Bleep is Jackson Pollock, what was your first impression of the work in question? For me personally, my gut instinct told me that it looked a little like a fake. For me, there was just something off about it. The colors strangeness gave me a first impression that this is not an original Pollock. By reviewing the chapter "Fakes" in Thompson's Stuffed Shark, as well as your reflections of that day and the movie source, tell me what your first impression of the work was. Did this first impression change in any way because of the presentation within the movie, the textual readings, or any other possible sources? Which do you consider as the more substantial proof of determining an authenticity of an artwork? For example, do you trust your instinct more or that of critical analysis or scientific evidence?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Images and Quotations: PART THREE

“Forms take reality for me as I work. In other words, rather than setting out to paint something, I begin painting and as I paint the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush.”
--Joan Miro from his work Joan Miro, page 211.

Joan Miro, Personnage, 1972

* * * *

“I don’t know if I work in order to do something or in order to know why I can’t do what I want to do.”--Alberto Giacometti. From David Sylvester’s study Looking at Giacometti, pages 76-77.

Alberto Giacometti, City Square, 1948

* * * *

“I think of my paintings as dramas. … Neither the action or the actors can be anticipated.”--Mark Rothko.
From the study Abstract Expressionism: A Critical Record by David Shapiro and Cecile Shapiro.

Mark Rothko, Orange and Yellow, 1956

* * * *

“I have no fears about making changes, destroying the image, etc., because the painting has a life of its own. I try to let is come through.”--Jackson Pollock.
From the work called Jackson Pollock: Energy Made Visible, by B. H. Friedman on page 100.

Jackson Pollock, Autumn Rhythm (Number 30), 1950

* * * *

“At the time of making a picture, I want not to know what I’m doing; a picture should be made with feelings, not with knowing.”--Hans Hofmann.
From De Kooning’s Spirit of Abstract Expressionism, page 69.

Hans Hofmann, Fermented Soil, 1966

* * * *

“What happens on canvas is unpredictable and surprising to me.”
--William Baziotes.
From Ann Eden Gibson’s Issues in Abstract Expressionism, pages 241.
William Baziotes, The Flesh Eaters, 1952

* * * *

“that each brush stroke is a decision.” --Robert Motherwell.
From Collected Writing of Robert Motherwell by Stephanie Terenzio, pages 227.

Robert Motherwell, Beau Geste II, 1989

* * * *

“My pictures finish themselves.” --Howard Hodgkin.
From Graham-Dixon’s novel Howard Hodgkin, page 214.

Howard Hodgkin, Keep it Quiet, 2000-2001

* * * *

“a painting’s different stages betray the painter’s endless trial and error as he ties to arrive at what he feels is definitive, final, completed state.”
--Balthus from his Vanished Splendors, page 55.

Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski), Nude Before A Mirror, 1955

* * * *

“I apply myself to seeking out images that I do not know…Indeed, it would be sad to know in advance that which is to come, for the simple reason that it deprives one of the sense of discovery.”--Pierre Alechinsky.
From The Artist Observed: 28 Interviews with Contemporary Artists by John Gruen, page 302.

Pierre Alechinsky, Les Trois Coups, 1993

* * * *

“’in my own work the best things just happen—images that I hadn’t anticipated.”
--Francis Bacon.
From Portraits: Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre and Elsewhere by Michael Kimmelman, page 43.

Francis Bacon, Head Surrounded by Sides of Beef, 1954

* * * *

“a kind of dialogue between what I think is being born on the canvas, and what I feel, and step by step, I advance and it transforms itself and develops.” --Pierre Soulages.
From Kuthy’s written account Pierre Soulages, page 23.
Pierre Soulages, Painting, April 30th, 1972

* * * *

“I find that I can never conceive a painting idea, put it on canvas, and accept it, not that I haven’t tried.” --Richard Diebenkorn.
From Jane Livingston’s work The Art of Richard Diebenkorn, page 72.

Richard Diebenkorn, Ocean Park #54, 1972

* * * *

“When one made a move toward the canvas surface, there was a dialectic and the surface gave an answer back, and you gave it an answer back.” --Helen Frankenthaler.
From Barbara Rose’s Frankenthaler, page 36.

Helen Frankenthaler, The Bay, 1963

* * * *

“Pop art, op art, flop art, and slop art. I fall into the last tow categories.” --Joan Mitchell.
From Joan Mitchell by Judith E. Bernstock, page 57.

Joan Mitchell, No. 5, 1955

* * * *

“the results are the way of discovering what I know and what I don’t.” --Susan Rothenberg.
From Joan Simon’s Susan Rothenberg, page 137.

Susan Rothenberg, Untitled (Horse), 1979

Images and Quotations: PART TWO

“I want to approach the final painting with a clear idea of what must happen.”-Robert Mangold, quoted form Robert Mangold, same author, p. 163.

Robert Mangold, Semi-circle III, 1995
* * * *

“[I] simply copied the photographs in paint and aimed for the greatest possible likeness to photography... conscious thinking is eliminated.”-Gerhard Richter, quoted from the Daily Practice of Painting, by same author, pp. 23, 30.

Gerhard Richter, Abstraktes Bild 742-2, 1991

* * * *
“It was late at night and I suddenly had the idea of projecting an image onto canvas... I owned no projector but was so excited by the idea that I called a friend who immediately responded to the urgency of my request... This was the beginning. It opened up a new way of seeing and working.”-Audrey Flack, quoted from Gourma-Peterson’s Breaking the Rules, p. 60.

Audrey Flack, Wheel of Fortune, 1977-78
* * * *
“It was an enormous freedom to be premeditated about my art... I was more interested in the end result than I was in the means to an end.”-Ed Ruscha quoted from Benezra’s and Brougher’s Ed Ruscha, p. 146.

Ed Ruscha, Standard Station, 1966
* * * *
“My goal was to make the image perfect, not mechanical... but in the sense of being exactly as I intended it.”-Bridget Riley quoted from Kimmelman’s, “Modern Op,” p.48.

Bridget Riley, Aurulum, 1978

* * * *

“The essential thing is to avoid the urge to do it all too quickly, try, try again, and get it right.”-Claude Monet quoted from Kendall’s, Monet by Himself, p. 178.
Claude Monet, Impression - Sunrise, 1874

* * * *

“At the start I see my subject in a sort of haze. I know perfectly well that what I will see in it later is there all the time, but it only becomes apparent after a while.”-Auguste Renoir quoted from Renoir, My Father, p. 188.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Moulin de la Galette, 1876

* * * *

“Every form I ever used constituted itself ‘of its own accord’” with a form frequently “constituting itself actually in the course of work, often to my own surprise.”-Wassily Kandinsky quoted from Lindsay’s and Vergo’s, Kandinsky, p. 370.

Wassily Kandinsky, Transverse Line, 1923
* * * *

“In order to be successful, it is necessary never to work toward a conception of the picture completely thought out in advance. Instead, one must give oneself completely to the developing portion of the area to be painted.”-Paul Klee quoted from Klee’s Diaries of Paul Klee, 1898-1918, pp. 236-37.

Paul Klee, Fire in the Evening, 1929
* * * *

“I don’t want pictures, I just want to find things out.”-Piet Mondrian quoted from Holty’s “Mondrian in New York,” p. 21.
Piet Mondrian, Composition with Red, Yellow, and Blue, 1927

Images and Quotations: PART ONE

“They see poetry in what I have done. No, I apply my method and that is all there is to it.” -Rewald, Post-Impressionism, p. 86.

Georges-Pierre Seurat, Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1884 – 1886

* * * *

“Above all, don’t sweat over a painting; a great deal of sentiment can be rendered immediately.” - Gauguin, Writings of a Savage, p. 5.

Paul Gauguin, Matamoe, 1892

* * * *

“I am in the midst of a complicated calculation which results in a quick succession of canvases quickly executed but calculated long beforehand.”
– Van Gogh, Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh, 2:606-7.

Vincent van Gogh, Starry Night, 1889

* * * *

Marcel Duchamp explained that his artistic goal was “to get away from the physical aspect of painting.” – Duchamp, Writings of Marcel Duchamp, p. 125.

Marcel Duchamp, Etant donnés tableau (The Large Glass), 1915-1923

* * * *

Charles Sheeler recalled that in 1929 he began “a period that followed for a good many years of planning a picture very completely before starting to work on the final canvas, having a blueprint of it and knowing exactly what it was going to be.”– Friedman, Charles Sheeler, p. 72.

Charles Sheeler, Amoskeag Canal, 1948

* * * *

Ad Reinhardt wrote in 1953 that a technical rule for painting should be that “every-thing, where to begin and where to end, should be worked out in the mind beforehand.”
– Stiles and Selz, Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art, p. 89.

Ad Reinhardt, Red Painting, 1952

* * * *

Andy Warhol declared in 1963 that “the reason I’m painting this way is that I want to be a machine.” – Madoff, Pop Art, p. 104.

Andy Warhol, Two Elvis, 1963

* * * *

Sol LeWitt stated that in his art “all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair.” – Zavi, Sol LeWitt, p. 78.

Sol LeWitt, Brushstrokes, 2000

* * * *

Chuck Close explained that creating his images of faces from photographs is done methodically: “I have a system for how the head is going to fit into the rectangle. The head is going to be so bid, it is going to come so close to the top edge, and it is going to be centered left to right.”
–Lyons and Storr, Chuck Close, p. 29.

Chuck Close, Big Self-Portrait, 1967-1968

* * * *

Robert Smithson told an interviewer in 1969, “An object to me is the product of a thought.”
– Smithson, Robert Smithson, p. 43.

Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pollock Matters

Of which persuasion would you consider when determining whether a work of art is authentic or not? Example: would you follow the connoisseurship, forensics, provenance, etc.

What determines a works "value"?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Define Young Geniuses

Please define with your own words. (Not by a textual source)

Define Old Masters

Define Visual Literacy

Define Avant Garde...

Define Art....

Please define within your own words. (Not by a textual source)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Frogs and Snails and Fine Art Tales

Captain's Log. Stardate 2009 May 18

Today we embark on our journey together to explore old masters, young genius, art, and economics.

As to our name of our blog. Well, we wanted chiraoscuro first. But, that term -- denoting the light and dark within a work of art -- was taken. Then, we moved to our second choice, spanghew which means "to cause a frog or toad to fly in the air." That, too, was taken. Therefore, we improvised and added "-ed" to spanghew, because every good word deserves to be in the past tense.