In spite of recounting at length her zealotry for “trash” and “kitsch,” which she famously claimed to prefer over serious minded films, Seligman never calls Kael to task for disingenuously backing away from her clarion call of the 1960s. “When we championed trash culture,” he quotes her as saying decades later, “we had no idea it would become the only culture.” Seligman doesn’t challenge her myopia. What, for example, did she imagine would be the logical outcome?…. Read More:http://januarymagazine.com/biography/sontagkael.html
But where did it all begin? Apparently Oskar Kokoschka once claimed, in giving form to his frustrations with the modern world, that ” what we need are barbarians.” Coming from Freudian Vienna, it was the beginning declarations of something abstract, ugly and destructive seen as a kind of cleansing force, a purifying violence that embodied the cult of the ugly. Anti-art, a faux-revolutionary that could be integrated into modern marketing and manipulation as a symbol of expressing personality and individualism. The consumerist cycle if invidious comparison.
There was always a struggle, an antagonism between two Surrealist trends, one embodied by Dali and other through the art of Picasso. How real the chasm was and the variability of the distinctions is a moot point to some. A narcissism of small differences. But certain truisms are unassailable . Dali deconstructed traditional classical imagery and re-worked it through an incorporation with symbolic imagery of the subconscious. By contrast, Picasso deconstructed the Old Master imagery and left a variety of debris among the ruins, fragments and shards, that has divided critics to this day.
Dali knew that with the rejection of reason as espoused by the modernists- a denigrating where war was termed a failure of reason and not the result of unreason. Clever- surrealists would not be able to evolve into an understanding of the subconscious since this would finish up in a depreciation of the power of intellect to understand truth. To Dali it was all a farce….Picasso once said that every good work of art is a kind of joke. Diego Rivera, the revolutionary Mexican muralist, agreed. Every piece of worthwhile art, properly understood, is not only like a joke, it is shocking. It must connect its elements in a new way; the world comes to be seen in a new way. A punch line of a joke may get a laugh, or perhaps only a smile. A first view of a great work of art may make one smile, more likely not. But it will be shocking, often without the viewer knowing quite why. “So art may not be a joke,” Rivera said, “but it is always like one.” (http://www.analysis.com/vs/vs85.html)
So, at an institutional level, we had the establishment of modernism as essentially the only art, which led to a bias against any art that resembled classicism from the interests of established art circles. Evidently, the exception of pop art and photographic realism, which emphasize the glories of North American production and assembly line, or in the case of ready mades and pop art etc., art based on the business model of the Federal Reserve printing money or virtual goods of an i-pod. The nightmare of Theodor Adorno’s culture industries.
The huge sum of money conferred on a Picasso painting and a Giacometti sculpture accords them great significance — not because they’re major works of modern art, but because they’re very good investments. Why? Is it because their works are unique, making them prized possessions, or because they were avant-garde innovators, not to say geniuses? The answer has less to do with the artists’ achievement and more to do with the fact that people are buying the brand name and getting the work along with it….
The oligarchic bourgeoisie looked back at the work of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cezanne and Paul Gauguin, who had become the fathers of the modernist revolution, and saw that their society had already produced its own art. The only problem was that those artists had already lost all the science gained over 300 hundred years since the Renaissance. The bourgeoisie did not need the artist as a professional painter since they could use photography for their historical chronicle, portraits and advertisement. However, they saw that art could be good business if it was produced fast. Also, since artists had, since the French Revolution, been committed to the poor, the titans of industry decided to make sure the art they supported had no meaning. Read More:http://www.gosurreal.com/dali_vs_picasso.htm
p>Breton said the key to our behavior was in the subconscious mind as interpreted from Freud. Meanwhile, in New York, Edgar Bernays was weaving his way through the same materials with the intention of coercing public opinion into buying goods and services; becoming addicted to consumption which meant, obscurely, affirming your unconscious in the market place.
…The name is the high-priced, desirable, one-of-a-kind commodity, not the work, which has a certain incidental relationship to it. This has to do with the celebrity culture: artists have been absorbed into its spectacle. Their creativity has been appropriated by it, making every celebrity seem like a great artist in the making, and every artist a celebrity in the making, aspiring to make spectacular art. ( Kuspit)
Dali was not the only artist in the Surrealist movement to paint Veristic Surrealism, as the contemporary American curator Michael S. Bell calls the type of Surrealism that faithfully represents the images of the subconscious. However, he was the only one who fought against the assault on artistry that the modernist movement represented. For that he was not forgiven by the Academy of Modernism and its throne in the Museum of Modern Art in New York.Read More:http://www.gosurreal.com/dali_vs_picasso.htm
As in much else, Picasso anticipated and then largely participated in the celebrity culture that threatened to overtake serious art criticism about him. Sometimes insightful and penetrating, Picasso’s critics watched him closely, often pinning on him their hopes for the direction they felt art ought to go, or turned on him, as did both extreme left- and right-wing writers whose postures and poses he upset or disappointed. Read More:http://www.artdish.com/feature.aspx?ID=109
…Greenberg’s chief rival, Harold Rosenberg, who became art critic for The New Yorker, even compared Picasso to Mark Tobey who, unlike Picasso, “sought points of resistance to [history] in. . . mysticism.” Perhaps indirectly attacking Greenberg in Rosenberg’s 1975 review of Douglas Cooper’s book, The Cubist Epoch, he called the “formalist view of Cubism as the mother of all 20th-century styles. . . a simplification that has been accepted largely because of its usefulness in the audience-building process of modern art.” Comparing Joan Mitchell to Picasso, he recalled how “the magic of Picasso lay in his ability to stretch over into separated styles—“blue” and “pink,” Cubist, Classical, Surrealist periods—without self-fragmentation.”
Lawrence Alloway, Max Kozloff and Donald Kuspit, three New York art critics of the 1970s and 1980s, conclude our quick tour of Picasso criticism. Alloway is generally considered to have invented pop art, moving from London (where it began) to New York just in time for it to crest in the US. He brought a salutary sobriety to Picasso criticism that blended the English legacy of Fry and Bell with more trenchant social analysis. Weighing in on Guernica in 1984, Alloway held that “The success of Picasso’s Guernica, 1937, is often mistaken as the model for an art both politically and stylistically informed. In fact, it is the accidental outcome of the coincidence of Picasso’s sexual and Spanish iconography with a momentous occasion.”…
…Although he has written extensively about Picasso over the years, Donald Kuspit’s views on Picasso are closest to Greenberg’s, but for different, psychological reasons. With a background in philosophy, art history, and psychoanalysis, Kuspit’s takes on Picasso are deep and varied. Writing in the Art in America special issue, he found the MoMA exhibition a “paradoxical revelation.” Unlike Greenberg, he sees “Cubism [as] . . . one big hoax of expressivity in the face of that failing sense of values masked by the ideology of art for art’s sake.”
Sensing that the paintings are all on the same emotional note, Kuspit asks rhetorically “What is the same emotional note? . . . It is the note of depression. . . All of Picasso’s manic intensity only disguises an abiding depression in the face of life.”…Read More:http://www.artdish.com/feature.aspx?ID=109 …The rejection of science and reason was really a rejection made by egotism in order to keep the status quo of separation and ignorance. However, modern artists did not have enough powers of analysis to see this. For unity to succeed in the world, all personalities and groups of personalities have to unite with the universal. On the other hand, if this goal is not achieved, the path towards unity will be the path of destruction, because in that case, destruction will become man’s urgency as represented in the canvases of the modernists. Read More:http://www.gosurreal.com/dali_vs_picasso.htm