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Lesson Plans

Who are artists?

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sandra Hildreth (shildret)
Fri, 9 Feb 1996 00:09:26 -0500

Scott Walters wrote:
>On the other hand, the idea that
>an artist can do with out "book material" can be directly tied, in my
>opinion, to the shallowness of a great deal of contemporary art, as well as
>the relatively low level of craftsmanship exhibited. There are things that
>can be learned from a book -- the basic concepts of perspective or color
>theory, for instance. More importantly, there are books that can deepen
>one's perception of the world. Artists reflect the world, but how can they
>do so without understanding it fully and deeply?

Well said! I have often thought that very same thing. For example, I think
the first Abstract Expressionists were truely innovators and they made a
significant impact on the world of Art - but, most of them came from very
traditional arts backgrounds. They had tried their hand at the various
styles of the early 20th century. They choose, for various reasons, to
reject the traditional, to eliminate the subject and focus on the
expressive power of art for arts sake. They were following the evolutionary
path of the French Impressionists. At one point I bet most of them had all
learned color theory and perspective and figure drawing, etc. However,
about the time I was in college (the 60's), a lot of Art programs were
ditching the emphasis on building a strong traditional foundation, and many
students were encouraged and "shaped" into copycat Abstract Expressionists
- without any of the wisdom or passion or experiences of those who had made
the initial decisions to work and develop that approach to creative
expression. I think it unfortunate that so many recent contemporary artists
seem to have no links to the past - they are only relating to the "now".
Why do they work the way they do? Because everyone else is and that's what
the galleries are selling! So, I try to be open minded about contemporary
art, but I sense there are a lot of people out there who sell thousands of
dollars worth of art, who really aren't artists!

Sandy Hildreth
7-12 Art, Madrid-Waddington Central School, Madrid, NY 13660
Art Methods, St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY 13617

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