Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beating Foam of Cosmic Dandruff at MOMA

                         To reject the whole world as unworthy of painting is a dizzying,immense act. Suddenly everything that we ever saw,experienced and admired is pushed over a cosmic ledge. A painter,someone gifted with particular acuity of seeing,of fanatical dedication to praise visible world rejecting the whole universe of the Visible? It would have to be a most unusual humanoid, so detached from love of the world,hostile to its eternal beauty and so disinterested in finding in painting a way to communicate with public our common experiences of living in the midst of the Marvel of the World-it surely would have to be someone thoroughly detached from humanity.


                          In the new London Review of Books there is an article about huge exhibition at Museum of Modern Art in NYC tracing the history of abstract art. To explain how those early abstract-artists came to reject representational art the author quotes Walter Pater:”All art constantly aspires to the condition of music”.Behind that quote there is a conviction that all art somehow would want to be music or approximate music since music is the most “abstract” of artistic disciplines. It suggests that artists generally felt burdened,shackled by the low-flying expectations of depicting the world,rather than taking wings over the vastness of non-representational possibilities-like music! What horizons,what exhilaration ,what a new universe for the pioneers of new art! But wait- let us return and examine that seemingly brilliant quote of W. Pater: does all art really aspires toward anything outside of its own possibilities?Does “Gargantua and Pantagruel” wants to be a kind of music? Does the Grunewald's Crucifixion aspires to be like music? Is perhaps such sense of insufficiency and wish for musical means of expression in Nike of Samothrake? 

Certainly not. The aspirations within every discipline of art is to work its own magic to its utmost.
Every piece of art presents a very exacting arrangement of parts that harmonize and contrast with each other and that formal stratum of artwork is the structural framework to carry the content. The idea that resolving the decorative,formal play of elements within artwork is the true and only sovereign territory of art created abstract art. Unburdened from content and therefore from meaning abstractionists made paintings that were intended to be like painted music.The trouble is that it is not an appealing sensation. The viewer's eye is lead from one geometric form to the next in staccato rhythm as if police horn couldn't be turned off. The rottweilers of primary colors attack your eyes with force but the encounter is too loud,too barbaric to constitute an aesthetic experience. If abstract art should be considered an addition of decorative arts ,like,maiolika tiles {Miro} or wallpapers {Jackson Pollock} than it would find its proper place. Linoleum flooring by Mondrian in a diner from the “50s would look just right.
But of course those people had grand claims of replacing Western tradition in arts with their arbitrary geometries and loud blankness rather than to produce wallpapers. How something so mediocre become so vastly successful is a question with many answers,or perhaps all of them are parts of a complicated answer.
In the larger topography of changes abstract art belongs with statism,multiculturalism,mythology of equality,elevation of primitivism,belief in inexorable cultural progress. In a word:Cultural Marxism :mama and papa of Political Correctness tried so successfully in the Soviet Block and later in the West and especially in America. There is only one form of art that is suitable both for families dragging children through museums as well as to decorate corporate headquarters: abstract art. Nobody would complain about controversial content of abstract art. It has none. If only literature could exhibit the same docile restrain and it nearly did as long as the gateways to publishing were guarded by cultural marxists.
Western Tradition in art has always been figurative and continues in that way.Abstract art does not belong inside of that tradition: it is an intruder that imposed itself in our museums,at art schools ,exhibitions of art. The take-over has not happened by some mysterious osmotic process-there were busy little men removing our art and replacing it with nearly empty canvases and metal junk. Where deservedly and proudly we should have great art of Andrew Wyeth public would encounter some immense smear by Franz Klein. Element by element of our culture has been replaced with audacious trash.