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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Like what you're looking at, then?

You know how it is when something catches your eye and you just have to post on it... well, it was this headline in Monday's Independent:
To like a work of art you have to know something about it. That worries me.
And yes, it worried me, too. The article was the work of Rebecca Frost. Her worry, like mine, was the implication that in order to like a work of art you have to have background information about it, know a bit about its history or something of its creator, a bit of bio or a bit of context. As I read on I realised that she was echoing thoughts that I myself had been having recently. Like hers, mine had arisen in conversation with a friend. She had gone to The Rothko Exhibition with a pal from way back, probably one of the cleverest people I have ever met.

Frost most often visits exhibitions alone and so is not in the mental gear perhaps for talking about the exhibits. As she put it, her habitual response is a visceral one, but on this occasion her friend was so forthcoming about the exhibits that she felt some response other than a purely gut reaction to be called for. She was enjoying the exhibition, for she likes Rothko, and as a student had prints of his work on her walls, but she was feeling duty bound to comment. Alas, she was also feeling ill-equipped to do so, believing that she had not the wherewithal - not in the presence of her clever clogs friend, I presume. Or maybe there was something else: it's one thing to say that you just love a Turner or a Constable and to leave it at that, but if what you are saying you adore happens to be two slabs of contrasting colour, then maybe you could feel some compulsion to explain yourself. So she mumbled something about preferring the ones with smudgy edges - and then remembered that Rothko had said: The people who weep before my paintings are having the same religious experience that I had painting them. Emboldened, no doubt, Frost confided also that the orangey ones sort of zing out at you, before also recalling how Rothko had gone on to say: and if as you say, you are moved only by the color relationships, then you are missing the point. She liked the paintings, she protested, but there was Rothko telling me from beyond the grave that I'm not liking his paintings in the right way. I liked his paintings, but the way I liked them was wrong. She was not having the correct religious experience, it seems, not the one Rothko had, after all!

I know a little about those religious experiences. In my teens I had a good friend who was a Billy Graham convert. We went around for a bit with other born again Christians, all very earnest and extremely good people. A lot of needy folk benefited from knowing them, but there was one aspect that really killed it for me: their insistence that your experience had to be the same as theirs, or it was not a genuine experience. If it had not happened to you in just the way it had for them, then you didn't know their Lord. There were no alternative routes to salvation. I remember, too, some of the casualties of that: youngsters who had invested so much in what they thought (knew?) to be a genuine conversion, but who were devastated to be told that it was not so. They were like small lads who had saved up all their pocket money for one extra-spectacular firework on Guy Fawk's night, only for it to fizzle out in the rain.

So, Aha! I thought at this point, remembering Wallace Stevens's belief that when you finally give up on empty heaven it is poetry that steps in and offers the redemption that once was religion's to bestow. Aha! Rothko has trod the same minefield I thought. It all fitted as my mind ran on ahead making its usual unwarranted connections. Frost reined me in, making the valid and very telling point that novelists and poets do not make such demands upon their readers. Only the visual artists do that. I wonder why. Why should that be? Whatever, there was I shot down in flames.

(One naughty thought did occur at this point: for someone who professed to having no background knowledge of the Rothko's, Frost did seem remarkably well informed about their creator.)

And then she and her friend found themselves in the last room where were the overpowering (I would have said awesome had I not promised myself, a long time ago, not to use that word) Black on White paintings. I got the feeling that it was in some fear that she waited to hear what her friend would say of these mighty works. And what her friend said was : Let's go and have a cup of tea!

Ah, but what if they had been able to go back after the cup of tea? Going to a Rothko show is a bit like going to a prayer meeting - and there are prayer meetings where it is perfectly acceptable to stay silent, where it behoves you to do so unless you are given something to say. You can't though, not so easily, have a cup of tea in the middle of a prayer meeting. Not usually, though maybe you should be able to. To most, though, it would seem sacrilegious. Still, I have a feeling that, refreshed after their cup of tea... after all, man cannot live by prayer alone.

50 comments:

Louise said...

I don't agree that to like a work of art you have to know something about it. But I DO find that once I find I like a work of art - a painting, a film, a book, a poem, a play, a ballet, a bottle of wine - I WANT to know something about it.

Bill Stankus said...

I'm sure there are a few other artists believing it necessary to know additional information when observing their art... but I also believe there's more artists believing in the notion - let the art speak for itself - thus the message is different for each person.

I find it quite wonderful when someone tells me what they see in something I've done - and it is altogether different from what I was thinking when I did what I did.

Shadow said...

quite simply, i don't have to understand something to like it. liking it i probably understand it in my OWN fashion, which is enough reason for me...

Rachel Cotterill said...

I'm afraid I'm rubbish at 'understanding' art. I lived with an artist for years and always ended up feeling small whenever we went to a gallery because I like art if I can enjoy looking at it, and that's about as far as it goes with me. However impressive it may be that someone got away with putting a urinal in a gallery and calling it art, it still isn't a great visual feast. Rothko, on the other hand, I like - in the right way or the wrong way :)

Derrick said...

Hi Dave,

I'm with Rachel! I like what I like because I like it! And that goes for all art forms.

Mary Ellen said...

Outside of the art history classroom, I don't believe for a minute that one needs to understand art to appreciate and enjoy it, any more than one needs to understand Vivaldi's concept behind the four seasons to enjoy humming selections from Spring.

But I'm a simple girl. I love creme brulee - no idea what's in it - still tastes delightful on the tongue.

liZZie said...

You're so right! And yes, tangerine does zing out at one, and I do know what I like, and the lives of some artists are so fascinating, but I wouldn't want to come over all smockravelled if I go and have a look! I'd have ditched the smart arse companion...

willow said...

You have very eloquently stated my exact feelings on the subject. Thanks for the cup of tea.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

You say you avoid using the word “awesome”, even though you note where you might have used it. I avoid the word “juxtapose”, although it is sometimes the perfect choice, especially when discussing visual art. The word trite comes to mind for me. As for the “correct” response to a particular piece of art, I have so much to say it will need to be a blog post of its own. Suffice to say, in general, I am not in favor of “art police”. Another great post Dave.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello David,

I am a fan of Baruch Spinoza, here (modified slightly for the context).

I believe it is important to know as much as possible about the thing or event or circumstance that I am witnessing in a piece of art.

The more I know about the time period, the artist, the socio-economic context, the pigments, the brush strokes, the symbolism, the iconography of the time and of the creator, their inspirations and aspirations and intentions... the more I enjoy the work.

But, I also want to reconstruct my initial experience of enjoying the art and enjoy that for what it was, and is.

Ideally, I end up bringing Hegel into the picture and take these two form of enjoyment as my pleasurable thesis and antithesis (the intellectual and the visceral reactions, in this case, for me) and synthesizing.

The result is a trifecta: I get to enjoy each separate approach and the combined result.

My visceral reaction on reading this artistic offering of yours, this post? "That Dave", I think "not only a great and interesting writer, but he has great and interesting friends, too".

Tschuess,
Chris

Elizabeth said...

Lots of good things here.
I liked the analogy with the born-agains wanting people to FEEL EXACTLY THE SAME AS THEY DID.
I have an ex-teacher chum who sends me 5 e-mails a day about Gaza from the safety of suburban Queens.
He feels compelled to try to convince the world of HIS beliefs.......
I get wild with fury. There lies fanatical intolerance.
David Sedaris, the humorist, had a wonderful piece about his inability to convince anyone of anything -though he had lots of people on his list when he discovered how.....
My worst paying gig was as an art critic for Long Island Newsday. Had to write 500-750 words every week about art. It was TORTURE. I lasted 3 years until a new editor came in and wanted me to either love or hate the work -to have an attitude.
What a relief just to go to museums and look about me - without having to think of something (semi)intelligent to SAY.
I love your blog because it always make me thin.
Excuse too long comment.
Plus, I do like Rothko - don't ask me why......

Elizabeth said...

THINK - thin would be nice too.......!

Tumblewords: said...

Provocative post. I, for one, am disinclined to feel a need for learning the background. If the work hovers with me for a time, that's a good thing.

Fiendish said...

Had this same discussion very recently!

Mine came about because of the way we're taught poetry in school. We read a poem - say, Adrienne Rich's "Trying to Talk with a Man" - and then we're told "Okay, this poem is about Rich's husband..."

Wait! No! It's not about Rich's husband! If it had been, it would have said "out in this desert my husband and I, Adrienne Rich, are testing bombs". It doesn't. The narrator never identifies herself as the poet, and I know from writing myself that it isn't always so.

It's important as a writer to remember that whatever you want a reader to know, has to be knowable from the poem. It's important as a reader to know that every interpretation of a piece of art is available to you in the art itself.

Tying art to its artist's background - while occasionally interesting - merely obfuscates the importance of its singularity.

To me, anyway. Nice post :)

Kelly said...

I love art for art's sake. I don't have to know the background to appreciate it. And art is so subjective that the background of it will inevitably have different meanings for different individuals. Some pieces catch me, some don't. Who cares what they mean?

Rachel Fox said...

I hope the Rothkos comes up to Edinburgh. I would like to be able to get the chance to see whether I care about them or not!
x

Lyn said...

I try not to get involved in the Artspeak conversation. There's usually something more at stake than the art. Probably why I like to visit exhibits alone.
The art I'm looking at may transcend even the artist's concept. The artist's word doesn't necessarily enhance the art.
Let's hope that the artist's very being is at work in the art. And that I as the observer, can be trusted. It's like looking into someone's eyes.
Art that arises from the self, that's what I favor.

Cloudia said...

Well said, Dave.
Aloha-

Cloudia said...

Well said, Dave.
Aloha-

Jeanne said...

I don't agree that you have to know something about a work of art to truly enjoy it, but I do agree that you have to see it as the artist saw it in order to enjoy the exact way the artist enjoyed it and, apparently, intended, at least in Rothko's case.

It is, in my opinion, stunningly arrogant for anyone to think that his experience or art (or religion, or poetry, or music) is the "best" or "only correct" experience.

Good God, this is the mindset at the root of religious wars for the past 2000 years (and maybe before that -- did the ancients fight religious wars? I can only recall ones over land and power prior to Christianity). I would have thought and hoped that an artist would have been wise enough not to start down that nasty alley.

(Nice work, Dave. You evoked a rant. And I'm usually so passive.)

Barry said...

Like Elizabeth, I enjoy your posts because they make me think.

It seem I do less and less thinking every year.

So I guess I need to come here more often.

Linda Sue said...

This post made me NOT want to understand art but rather to have a cuppa. I can understand Rothko having a religious experience in the creation of colour on colour-the process of creating art is a bit like masturbation, or so I have been told...The observer's experience- not so much. Either art appeals to you or it does not- no God stuff there, no orgasm...If asked what he was thinking during the process Rothko may have answered "I was thinking of a rock" or "I was thinking of the dualistic plane on which we find our gravity laden bodies separate and heavy, though our spirits weave subatomic particle threads throughout to hold it together- God told me to paint this way"...I think I would go for the "rock" explaination and be happy to see his work as nothing more than sofa art.I lack understanding, you see, and the kettle is boiling- tea time!

Janice Thomson said...

Since we are all unique individuals how can an artist expect anyone to have the exact same viewing experience as his/her painting experience? Even if we are told what we should be experiencing we all have our own traits and tendencies that will impose themselves upon our understanding and our pleasure or dislike of a painting. This is a good example of the theory of relativity.

CLAY said...

Approach every work with a blank mind . The images will stain you better that way.

Excellent post Mr.King, I have enjoyed this analysis.

Cheers,
Clayrn Darrow
M.IV

Jean said...

This and your previous post about the Rothko exhibition are the best things I've read about it anywhere. And this is a timely reminder that I STILL haven't been. And I pass the Tate Modern regularly, and it ends at the beginning of February... Outrageous. Date with self for some time in next few days.

I more often go to exhibitions on my own. When I do go with a friend, I tend to be talkative, more talkative then they are, probably annoyingly so. Strangely, when I don't know much I have a lot of uncensored spontaneous things to say about art, but w hen I do know something, I become more reflective and circumspect.

Dave King said...

Louise
But does your liking improve with greater knowledge?

Bill
Tes, I'd certainly agree with your second paragraph.

Shadow
Meaning that it means something to you? Fair comment, but it raises again the whole issue of what we mean by meaning. (I think!)

Rachel
Welcome. I like art if I can enjoy looking at it, and that's about as far as it goes with me I have the feeling that that would be the position of most people who didn't feel they were professionally involved in some way. Maybe it's time that srt and artists began to cater for them again.

Derrick
Which goes some way towards provong my point.

Mary Ellen
Welcome Mary. Two good point there, I think.

LiZZie
Welcome to my blog, and I do so like your comment.

Willow
I still think we shouldn't downplay the cup of tea. I think that could have been the turning point.

Leslie
As you have surmised, I only avoid the word awesome because it has been downgraded by overuse. I do agree with your other points. Thanks for that.

Sepiru
Much thanks for those kind words. I think you are proposing what has become my habitual way of approaching a new (for me) art work - which I have not put forward until now: I try to look at it first as though it is, say, a landscape i.e. it is not meant to have nay meaning and so can be enjoyed in a meaning-free way. After which (and how long after depends upon the work itself) I try to bring to bear any background or peripheral knowledge that I might have. But for pure enjoyment: visceral every time!

Elizabeth
No too long at all; I enjoyed reading it, so many thanks. I can appreciate the relief of being able to write (i.e. respond) naturally after all that time of being so cicumscribed. I do think the question of whether we can ever convince anyone of anything is pertinent.

Tumblewords
like the expression if the work hovers with me. Great.

Fiendish
Two very salient points there, often overlooked. Thanks for the reminder.

Kelly
And who know which bits of the background are relevant to the work, anyway?

Rachel
They certainly should, but at the end of the day (sadly) it's usually insurance and the cost of insurance that decide these things.

Lyn
I warm to the looking into the artist's eyes bit. I certain ly try to avoid conversations involving a knowledge of the lingo.

Cloudia
Thanks for that.

Jeanne
Another good point: you have to see it as the artist saw it. I suppose it could be argued that knowing some of the background could help in that direction, but I do agree with Fiendish's point that everything that is relevant is (should be) knowable from the work itself. It eems I agree with two (sometimes) mutually exclusive points.

Barry
You will be most welcome.

Linda Sue
Yes, I'm for the rock, too - though I do think your response is more profound than you let it sound. (rhyme not intended!) I think it deserves serious consideration. And maybe we deserve the cup of tea!

Janice
And a good example there of clear common sense thinking. Thanks.

Clay
Yup, the blank mind's the thing - b ut wouldn't you need to be a Zen Buddhist?

Jim Murdoch said...

I'm afraid, Dave, I'm one of those people who likes to know they're doing it right. This doesn't refer simply to art but literature and music too. I'm not as bad as I used to be but I've never looked at a Rothko yet and felt I was seeing it right and I've watched a few documentaries on him; I caught one on SkyARTS just a couple of weeks ago actually. I've certainly never had anything approaching a spiritual experience. I feel a bit guilty for thinking his stuff untidy. I don't hate it but give me a Mondrian after 1919 any day. I'm not sure I 'get' them either but I'm a straight-edges kind of guy I guess.

I was listening to a piece of music by Morton Feldman yesterday and I could see what he was doing but I did see what he was getting at. Our cockateil on the other hand was transfixed by the piece. I'm not sure where he stands on abstract art.

Nicole Hyde said...

One can't like a piece of art "in the wrong way." There's just "like it in your own way" me thinks.

By the way, I just found your blog the other day and I'm gobsmacked! Great writing and insights (and the humor is right up my alley). Great blog!

Rachel Fox said...

The Simon Schama on Rothko was interesting, Jim. Did you see that?

Jim Murdoch said...

@Rachel - I believe it was Tim Marlow the last one I saw.

Jo Horswill said...

Dave, so pleased you left a comment on my blog, because it's led me here to you!
What a joy this post is.

...look forward to visiting more often. Jo

Lynda Lehmann said...

Interesting post and a great blog! I'm glad I've just discovered you.

I like Rothko and all forms of abstract art, and don't seek to define "why" any more than I try to define why a particular day strikes me as beautiful! It simply IS. For me, painting and viewing paintings is all about the VISUAL EXPERIENCE, which needs no more justification than breathing does!

Again, I like your blog!

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Hi Dave, informative post as ever and if it wasn't for the big ticket price at the Tate Modern I'd probably go along and check out the Rothko Exhibition myself (on the strength of your post). Anyway, what you do is rub your eyes and screw them up a little and then go as close to the picture on the screen as you can then slowly move your head backwards staring at the Rothko and you'll start to see different images unfold then...

Totalfeckineejit said...

Visceral is the way to go, but sure we can all feel things when we look at art/poetry/photography so the elitists devise 'correct' ways of interpretation using an impenetrable code(look at the pretentious twaddle written in all/any art magazines)to make us feel stupid.Art is for everybody-fuck-'em!As for spiritual matters it is deeply unfashionable to have any kind of organised religion as part of your life, axe murderers are more socially acceptable,despite this -or perhaps because of it- I am compelled to confess that ,although man does not live by prayer alone, this particular man (me)as rubbish as I undoubtably am, would be the lesser without it.

Adrian LaRoque said...

Very well Dave...

Janette Wilson said...

Thanks for looking at my blog I had trouble getting onto the comments so sent you an email which has been reThankyou David for your comment on my blog.
I had some difficulty making a comment on yours hence the email.
It is quite obvious to me that your computer skills (and typing) exceed mine by a huge margin.
I really enjoyed your blog and how I would like to speak to your arguments but the act of typing is somewhat laboured.
Without appearing to be cynical I think the Rothko verses the poet argument about "does it have merit" is bound up with money. It occured to me while reading your essay that if prices of works of art could never exceed the price paid directly to the artist during their lifetime then there would be less need to justify your aesthetic valuation.
The "God ibspired" (see what I mean)...argument. I happen to be the widow of an Anglo/Catholic priest with a fine intellect and and extremely liberal approach to his faith, I prefer the word ("trust") having also in my youth been through the Billy Graham bit. I still would prefer to think of the divine intervention in the creative process and hence the process becomes more important than the "product" If Rothko had that reaction to his own work, well he was a fortunate.... and dare I say "blessed".
Your poems are fine, I am not a great reader of poetry (except doggerel) but to continue the line from above paragraph as a Quaker would say "It speaks to my condition". I was very moved by the Obama inauguration (3.30 am here) but though I listened several times to the poem I wondered "why?"....back to the Rothko really. How much do we have to understand...or do we expect too much.
Sorry this was so long.
cheers Janette .turned...

Janette Kearns Wilson said...

Sorry David. What a mess my reply was.

Dave King said...

Jim
I'm not sure I could claim a spiritual experience either, though I think I can relate to thopse who can. I guess it might depend on what you understand by a spiritual experience. My background may have givemn me one set of expectations as to what that would amount to, yours may have given you another. I suppose it would be possible for us to have similar experiences, one claimimg a religious experience, the other not. Would what you get from Wordsworth, for example, be a case in point? I'm with your cockateil!

Nicole
One can't like a piece of art "in the wrong way." Precisely! And thanks for your kind words.

Jo
Enjoyed your blog. Thanks for the comment.

Lynda
Which I am sure is where most folk stand on the issue. Thanks for that.

SweetTalkingGuy
You must have been talking to my old art lecturer. He once memorably took us to the National Gallery, stopped in front of an enormous painting covered in the most intricate detail. Studied the bottom left hand corner most inrently for a while. Then, pointing at aleaf, turned to us expectant students and said: Artistic, isn't it?

Totalfeckineejit
The first part of your response speaks for the majority, I feel; the second half for a sizeable minority. Thanks for all of it.

Adrian
Thanks

Janette
I have not yet checked my emails, but I am sure I will have received your email. Ignore the negative message you will have received!
The financial aspect you raise is interesting, but I think I will have to give that more thought. I feel for your difficulties with the keyboard. I have developed something of a tremor of recent years, and everything now takes an impossibly long time to accomplish. Please dont feel that you need to apologise for the occasional typo.
The idea of the process being more important than the outcome does resonate with me, though it would be important to the artist, I think, less so to others.

Tom Atkins said...

Interesting thoughts. Do we have to know the background to take in the art? No. Does knowing add a layer of appreciation. Yes. I like the discovery. Finding something or someone I know nothing about and soaking in how the art speaks to me, THEN learning more. It's like an adventure in appreciation.

A rambling rose said...

Great blog - thank you

Dominic Rivron said...

I've always loved Rothko's paintings. I've not the faintest idea why.

I think a lot of art, literature, music. etc., in the twentieth century suffered because people thought something "intellectual" was going on when in fact they were being invited to respond in a visceral way.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Knowledge of the artist can certainly enhance understanding of what he was perhaps attempting to convey. But, the art is much bigger than the artist. It has a life of its own and can so often communicate truths that the artist was perhaps unaware of at the time of creation. Don't you think?

S. A. Hart said...

Dave, an insightful and thought-provoking article. It reminded me of a line in Pound's 1913 essay "How I Began,": "I would know what was accounted poetry everyday, what part of poetry was 'indestructible,' what part could not be lost in translation," Perhaps the intent of the creator is always lost in translation or interpretation because the nature of art is often beyond words themselves. Each individual responding to the art/poetry/music will have a unique experience colored by their background, natural predispositions, and personality. For some, an understanding of the process the artist employed, as well as their expressed intention, may significantly enhance their experience. For others, it will do little other than feed the "noise" we hear around us. I tend to want to have a "virginal" experience, unmoderated by "education", then follow it with an intellectual exploration, and then return to the art (inc. music) more informed by the total experience.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Dave; my further comments are made in a post at my blog. Thanks for the thought provoking post!

Dave King said...

Tom
Good point. Thanks for that.

Rambling Rose
Much thanks.

Dominic
I can relate to that. For me there is nothing more exciting than finding I like something, yet not being able to put my finger on why.

Pamela, Terry and Edward
Yes, I do think that. I find it in poetry, too, that often there is more there than the artist knew.

Sharon
Yes, that is exactly my understanding of the best method of approach. Knowledge of how an srtist has achieved the image or the poem often produces admiration of the artist rather than insight into the artwork.
Thanks for that thoughtful response.

Leslie
And thanks for your contribution.

Sarah Laurence said...

Dave, this is one of your best posts ever and the comments are interesting too. I agree with Louise “I don't agree that to like a work of art you have to know something about it. But I DO find that once I find I like a work of art - a painting, a film, a book, a poem, a play, a ballet, a bottle of wine - I WANT to know something about it.”

As an artist, I want people to appreciate my work, but I would never dictate how they should feel about it. The beauty of art is that it can resonate on a personal level. There is no one right way. I love Rothko, and appreciate his work the more for knowing what he was trying to achieve, but I would not call it a religious experience – it’s an artistic one.

Lucky you to see that show - I'm envious. Thanks for sharing it.

mansuetude said...

Wonderfully written. I am thinking of V. Woolf saying we write (think) with someone over our shoulder.

I think the "religious quiet" experience is important and then, though as i get older i also want to be able to "know" a bit about the context of history and place in history or the line of sight in art or philosophy from which someone is doing something--to add to the experience. But i don't have to call forth the knowing part to experience anything, it can sit behind, and wait... and vice versa.

I think you reminded me too of the Moravians of North Carolina who sit like the Quakers do, but offer tea and thin, thin ginger cookies to the group during religious gatherings. Those Moravians i have met are still and considerate, must be the refreshments.

A wonderful thoughtful post. thank you.

Art Durkee said...

Knowing something about an artwork and its context does add layers of interest or meaning, perhaps. But I agree with Louise: I don't need to know about an artwork in order to like it, or be moved by it; but liking it or being moved by it does tend to make me want to know more about it, and the artist. I think that's the right way of things: something is awakened by the encounter with the art.

Art that needs to be explained, that can't stand on its own two feet, usually is incomplete. Sometimes it downright fails. Particularly it fails when an intellectual or theoretical explanation is required in order to appreciate it: art that requires footnotes (unless they are part of the piece, as in some metafiction, and satire; very rarely in poems) almost always fails, as art.

Rothko I find sublime, I always have. I know several artists and poets who dismiss his work out of hand—but then, they've never really encountered it, just reproductions. I've read most of what Rothko wrote about his work, because I was interested. I saw something spiritual in his paintings before I ever heard him talk about them; I went to read what he thought after seeing the paintings. That's usual, for me.

Morton Feldman's piece for chorus instruments called "Rothko Chapel" is one of his most sublime compositions.

Most people don't see what's there, but only what they think is there. Most people wear blinders, and only see reflections. Most people don't see the world as it is, but only what they think it is. When you encounter the world direct, face to face, that can be a spiritual experience, or an aesthetic experience, or some combination. Most people think art is a function of intellect, will, and purposeful intention; they're wrong.

Madam Z said...

I'm like the person (whoever it was) who said (if indeed, he/she really did say it), "I don't know much about art, but I know what I like." (or something like that...)

My very favorite painting is Heronimus Bosch's "Garden of Earthly Delights." When I first saw it, in the Prado - 18 years ago, I stood before it, transfixed, for about an hour. I wanted to examine every square centimeter of it, but eventually my husband dragged me away, declaring that there was much more to be seen and the museum would be closing soon. Unfortunately, virtually all the other paintings we saw in that remaining time seemed to involve various martyrs undergoing horrific torture at the hands of various infidels. Definitely not my "cup of tea."

小貓咪 said...

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