Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 40

“What good

is an artist

with nothing to say?”

DRAWING 5B - 2012Charcoal, pastel and graphite on paper SIZE: 9" x 12
DRAWING 5B – 2012
Charcoal, pastel and graphite on paper SIZE: 9″ x 12

I wonder…

Frank Stella (1936) created abstract paintings that are not illusionistic representations of reality.  His paintings don’t contain any metaphysical or psychological references.  He believes his work is nothing more than paint on canvas.  The paint is paint.  The canvas is canvas.  No more.  No less.

He has been quoted as saying that, “I always get into arguments with people who want to retain the old values in painting – the humanistic values that they… find on the canvas.”

“If you pin them down, they always end up asserting that there is something there besides the paint on the canvas.  My painting is based on the fact that only what can be seen there is there… What you see is what you get.”

John Cage (1912 – 92) said, “I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry. What is it then that so many artists are not saying?  I’m having a bit of difficulty all of a sudden with the fact that I have nothing to say; that my work is just the perspiration of academic exercises.

What is it then that I make that (I think) doesn’t say anything?  If,  “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.” according to Andy Warhol (1928 – 87), then why are some of them interested enough to go to galleries, openings and sometimes buy these things they don’t need to have?

E. H. Gombrich said, “There really is no such thing as Art.  There are only artists.”  A lot of things called Art wasn’t made to be art.  It was made to be useful.  But, somehow, somebody called it Art and a lot of other somebodies must have agreed.

So, is art that doesn’t have anything to say useful and, if so, is it Art?

Posted on: 24/01/2013, by :
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