IAIN MACLEAN

 

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Here are my mutterings and musings mainly on art.

Not a Scream, But a Low Moan. The English Way.

By themaclean, Apr 18 2016 01:18PM


Showing emotion in art is still unfashionable.


Why?


I can understand why the mawkish sentimentalism of many ninetenth century paintings became toe-curlingly sickly for modern tatses.


The last artists who depicted any emotion were Munch with the Scream and Picasso with Guernica. Since then?


CIA-financed Mark Rothko claimed, “I’m not an abstractionist. I’m not interested in the relationship of colour or form or anything else. I’m interested only in expressing basic human emotions: tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on.”


Really?


They're so full of raw emotion that in the recent Knoedler trial, Abstract Expressionst expert, Dr Stephen Polcari answered "yes" to muffled chuckles from the audience in the courtroom, when an attorney asked, "Haven't you said in the past that all Rothkos look alike?" Polcari went on to say. "He's famous for having a signature style."


"So, as for that signature style," the attorney continued, "from one to another, you can't tell?" Polcari nodded his head. He even admitted that he couldn't tell which way up they were.


I've done a drawing. A simple, honest study. A small one. It doesn't measure 236.2 cm × 206.4 cm (93 in × 81¼ in) like Rothko's highly emotional, "Orange Red and Yellow". It's too small for a gallery. You don't price a book the number of words. So why are so many paintings priced by the square millimetrage?


This drawing isn't in colour, not even orange, red, or yellow.


It's in black and white.


And it doesn't depict a big, dramatic emotion.


It's tintimate, honest and authentic.














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