Saturday, November 17, 2007

Art and Elitism

Check out this very interesting discussion regarding art, elitism, & pattern recognition
at Britannica Blog posted Nov. 14. Comments are invited at that site.
As I read through the article I was reminded of several instances in my experiences with art when these same issues confronted my own previously established values and pattern recognition.

Regarding the value of art by women and "the female" voice, Mary Kelly suggested that because the established pattern recognition has for so long reflected a male or masculine voice, and since all of us, men and women, were trained in that set pattern, we women artists have no set patterns established that allow for difference. When we speak...visually...we are more likely to use the already established patterns and not even be aware. We may say different things but will still use the same patterns.

Several years ago I visited an art museum in France featuring only Impressionist art, some by American artists. I hadn't seen any of those artists works before and was impressed. However, my feeling was that I could see how Monet's work stood far and above those pieces. And then I began to question: Was my judgement biased because of established pattern recognition? Or flawed by my familiarity with Monet's work and his established reputation as a master codified by the system?

I say to my students when they are horrified by very abstract work that when they learn more about art and see more art they will likely come to understand the abstract and maybe even love it.

An interesting situation.

Please enter the discussion. Post comments here or at Britannica's Blog.

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