Realism versus conceptual, an old debate that still rages.
In the 20 May 2004 edition of the Independant Tom Lubbock addresses the question of Real Painting at the occasion of an exhibition by eight young British artists who persist in painting from life. Lubbock's central argument goes as follows: "this kind of figurative painting is indeed old hat, and what old hat means is that not only has someone done it before, but that someone has done it much better before and there really is no point in doing it again worse. And whenever someone speaks up for Real Painting it always means painting that's a pale and wonky imitation of something else".
The argument is right I guess but what a pale reasoning.
The real point of debate is not realism versus conceptual but what is art: content + technique. Content is the subject of an art work. Is a portrait or a landscape still worth the act of painting in the 21st century? Honestly I don't believe. Other techniques are better adapted to this kind of content than the brush. Also portraits and landscapes as message of a painter about his vision of reality, well a pale vision indeed. The 21st century is all about knowledge, understanding of reality. Science and philosophy are at the forefront of our understanding and they analyse our reality as being a global and complex system reaching from the macroscopic to the microscopic. Portraits and landscapes seem vain for the least in such a complex system.
Is The Tide Turning Against Conceptual Art?
Are the very well to do out of opportunities in the world of business? Or is art part of their business?