Field Theory by Hadyn Green

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Field Theory: A post about art (sort of)

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  • David Cauchi,

    You have not read Boardman; you attempted to deceive me and the readers of this thread. I called you on that. You are a fraud.

    Jesus Christ.

    No-one's come out of this very well. It's been very funny but.

    And those Marian Maguire prints are horrible.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2007 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    does Art History Man have a cool costume?

    Bet he wears his undies on the outside

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I asked Giovanni about an Estruscan statue the other night: it's known as "Ombra della sera". It was not meant for anything
    except (it seems) to be in a grave - to be beautiful, to be for the delectation of the dead. Your definition of art is - deficient.

    By the way, I really couldnt be bothered giving a response to your earlier call for suggesting where you'd made an error because - you would pother on about "Art" (the capital A is telling) and how that only included material from a certain academically-defined period in Western European art and how the entire world (o, universe for all I know) then taught the rest of the world how to appreciate "Art."


    In a pig's ear-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Looking at Art history papers offered at almost any Western University, it can be observed that Academic Art History allows little more than footnote space to anything beyond the confines of the European tradition and is almost entirely void of references to any influence of global cultural cross-pollination prior to The Renaissance.

    The Courtauld Institute of Art;

    http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/postgraduate/ma/MAstructure.shtml

    http://www.courtauld.ac.uk/degreeprogrammes/undergraduate/BAstructure.shtml

    Art History optionals offered at Nottingham University's 3 year BA(Hons) program;

    http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/modules.php?code=000737&mod_year=optional

    Year 2
    Study trip abroad to a centre of art in Italy or Northern Europe.
    etc etc.

    Personally I've felt Paul has been running this gambit to get us to donate the fare for his grand tour, I get a strong sense of too many books, not enough observation of art.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It was not meant for anything except (it seems) to be in a grave - to be beautiful, to be for the delectation of the dead.

    Yes and no. They are very beautiful - Mum just confirmed to me there are some ombre della sera painted on the walls of the François tomb in Vulci - but they also had a place in the symbolico-magical order of the necropolis. The shadow, along with the demon, was one of the components of what we nowadays call the soul.

    And those Marian Maguire prints are horrible.

    Could we institute a new rule? That if somebody calls me a fraud then you have to wait at least an hour before declaring something I genuinely like to be "horrible".

    Because in the final analysis: I don't know much about art, but I know what I like.

    (Apologies if this has been posted on this thread already. Maybe I was just pretending to have read it through, you know.)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Jesus Christ.

    Crucifixion?
    Yes.
    One cross each, first door on the right. Next.

    Sacha, I ran out of steam for Twitter. Or it ran out of steam for me. Kind of nearly gave up here too, again. Increasingly apparent why.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Don't despair recordari, there's no reason to.

    Paul this may be of interest;

    The Six principles of Chinese painting were established by Xie He(also known as Hsieh Ho), a writer, art historian and critic in 6th century China. He is most famous for his "Six points to consider when judging a painting" (绘画六法, Pinyin:Huìhuà Liùfǎ), taken from the preface to his book "The Record of the Classification of Old Painters" (古画品录; Pinyin: Gǔhuà Pǐnlù). Keep in mind that this was written circa 550 A.D. and refers to "old" and "ancient" practices. The six elements that define a painting are:

    1. "Spirit Resonance," or vitality, and seems to translate to the nervous energy transmitted from the artist into the work. The overall energy of a work of art. Xie He said that without Spirit Resonance, there was no need to look further.
    2. "Bone Method," or the way of using the brush. This refers not only to texture and brush stroke, but to the close link between handwriting and personality. In his day, the art of calligraphy was inseparable from painting.
    3. "Correspondence to the Object," or the depicting of form, which would include shape and line.
    4. "Suitability to Type," or the application of color, including layers, value and tone.
    5. "Division and Planning," or placing and arrangement, corresponding to composition, space and depth.
    6. "Transmission by Copying," or the copying of models, not only from life but also the works of antiquity.

    Xie He 550AD
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_principles_of_Chinese_painting

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Marian Maguire is one of the ANZ artists I esteem most from this century...her playful interaction -which is actually very stringent and exact and comes from deep study- of Grecian motifs and Maori figures *and also beliefs*- makes me want to win Lotto, right now, so I can have have one of her insightful prints on my wall- so my family can enjoy & engage with it, so we can talk all about & around it-

    chris, that was an excellent post.
    When I have time, and in relation to the sources Paul Litterick gave, I'll post a wee bit about ihi, wehi, mana & toi-

    I know this has been a somewhat fraught thread: I have learned quite a bit. To all participants who have helped me learn - my thanks.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Thanks Islander, I am learning a great deal from this thread too...
    I feel I have to say; Giovanni, you have shown remarkable restraint, patience and humility, providing cogent measured responses whilst bearing most of the brunt.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Giovanni, there is a nasty, bitter streak to you, that makes the winning of an argument more important than decency and integrity. You have to suggest that I have darker purposes, to put it about that I must be some sort of racist. You don't have the honesty or the integrity to take on an argument squarely. Of course, you would not refer to any of the academic literature on the subject because it probably would not support your view, so instead you insinuate evil intent on my part.

    Whether or not Giovanni is right or not, and whether or not that's actually what he said...

    I think for an academic (in training) to assume that there can't be any 'bigger picture' to academia and its output is a bit shortsighted. Throughout history academia and academics have been used for many wider purposes, not all of them good. Academics have to have the vision to keep that always in the back of their mind.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6227 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    When somebody is clearly faking it, I see no reason to be restrained. Had Giovanni read Boardman, he would have been able to make an argument and challenge mine; clearly he had not read him.

    Of course there is a big picture and I have been presenting it. Art is a European construct. Some people here have chosen to interpret that to mean I am a colonialist who is oppressing the first peoples by denying that their art is such. I am rather dismayed by the sheer nastiness of some comments on this thread, by Giovanni, Sacha and Islander especially. They cannot deal with the argument, they have no evidence to offer, so they snarl and sneer and snipe.

    I suppose with Chris's examination of the syllabuses of my universities we have moved on from Giovanni's psychic ability to know what Art History departments are thinking. But then Chris's conclusion dismays once more: the art history departments don't teach what I think is art, so they must be wrong. Protip: perhaps they know what they are talking about, perhaps you are wrong; and perhaps your 'strong sense' about my learning is just your blind prejudice.

    Really, when it gets to the point where people are creeping around university websites searching for clues, divining intentions, shouting abuse, rejecting evidence on the grounds of unpalatability and pretending to have read books, it is time to move on.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    It was time to move on pages ago, and yet you're still right, and we're all still idiots. And you still don't get it.

    Happy Easter, for what it's worth.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Happy Easter

    Indeed. The whanau and I just consumed abundant mericonda, which is always a source of peace and joy.

    Apologies for not leaving the conversation once and for all when I said I would, and clearly should have.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7412 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    it is time to move on.

    It was time to move on pages ago

    Apologies for not leaving the conversation once and for all when I said I would, and clearly should have.

    NOOOOO! Don't go! I'm really enjoying this. Do you know how few articulate and heated arguments about the nature of art they are? Not many at all.

    And was hoping y'all would fight a duel. I don't think there has been a PAS duel yet.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • recordari,

    Ok, but just to lay down some ground rules. If anyone says 'man up' or 'have some balls' on a thread about art, I'm telling my mum.

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    And was hoping y'all would fight a duel. I don't think there has been a PAS duel yet.

    Quills and inkpots at dawn perhaps?

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1239 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    does Art History Man have a cool costume?

    I bet it includes jackboots!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I'll get me coat.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Yay for ponies

    (had to write it somewhere)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16996 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    As it's Easter

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Yay for ponies
    (had to write it somewhere)

    This being PAS & all, how many pages do you think it'll run to before we get to Schrödinger's pony?

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 3627 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Back on topic, London is arting up its Olympics with a red thing by Anish Kapoor. And look: it is post-colonial and multi-cultural, bearing the name of its Indian sponsor, ArcelorMittal.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Schrödinger's pony exists:

    My Little Zombie Pony:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/youngsong/2747267493/

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1147 posts Report Reply

  • merc,

    Good bass face above...oh god it's a 6 string (Strat)...cred wither goest thou?

    Since Dec 2006 • 2471 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    the art history departments don't teach what I think is art, so they must be wrong. Protip: perhaps they know what they are talking about, perhaps you are wrong; and perhaps your 'strong sense' about my learning is just your blind prejudice.

    It's nothing Personal Paul, although you will find that the courses offered at NZ universities may be slightly more international in flavor, you're not special, most Art History courses at most western universities follow similar trends,

    I merely hoped to instill the notion that the 'Art' in the discipline you study; 'Art History', being confined to the definition

    a European construct,

    may explain your continued failure to convert readers away from their more encompassing understanding of the term, to your confined institutionalized version.

    More succinctly, the fact that so many disagree with you as to what constitutes 'Art', should be food for thought as to the relevance of the definitions you so readily consume and regurgitate.

    Generally speaking, you wouldn't win much kudos at a cocktail party opening a diatribe about art theory/ anthropology, stating "I'm an Art (a European construct) Historian"

    Theodor Adorno claimed in 1969 “It is self-evident that nothing concerning art is self-evident.”

    I'd favor Kennick's "no definition of art is possible anymore"

    Certainly our 21st C definition of Art is informed by your own outmoded institutional version Paul, but it remains to be seen how adequately the Art History institution can allow itself to be informed and redefine its limited appraisal of what 'Art' is, in order to represent a more holistic history of art, and cross the threshold into the realm of the globally relevant.

    As you mentioned, it's time to move on.

    中国 • Since Jan 2010 • 902 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    So all the Art History departments have art wrong, and a few people on this thread have it right, their rectitude being based not on aesthetic grounds but on the feeling that they must be right, because their notion of art is inclusive and non-colonial. So the Art History departments must redefine themselves to suit your interpretation of art; somehow they must find a way to teach craft forms which are hierarchical, uniform and anonymous as if they were works of art. Only that way they will be globally relevant, despite the western model of art being globally adopted by museums, artists, critics and dealers.

    So, in the Pacific countries where artists now practice much as western artists have done for the last 200 years, these artists must be ignored in favour of the traditional handcrafts, which suit your political concerns better. Finding something to say about these crafts which has not been said already will be a challenge, but that is by the by.

    It is nothing personal, Chris, but you do not have the faintest idea what you are talking about, as that Wikipedia piece you posted shows.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

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