Tuesday, August 7, 2012


While Monet's approach to painting may have seemed revolutionary in its time,  it has devolved into a kind of classical dab and dissipate take on space, form,  content,  and meaning,  leaving only technique,  and not a very interesting one at that.  Yes,  there was initial liberation and transformation here,  but little that could outlast its purely technical concerns.  Monet's influence can be seen in scores of sunday painters'  work (see above for a "copy" of one of his better know works,  "Essai de Figure en Plein Air" 1886),  but without the sensuous impasto and luminescent disintegration much in evidence in his best work.  Light,  the primary component of Monet's paintings,  is seen as a flaccid element in most imitators,  totally lacking Monet's power to deconstruct/reconstruct a genre such as landscape or still-life.  Basically,  Monet,  with his pastel colors and prettiness (go to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris if you really want to gag on the obnoxious sweetness of Impressionism),  has given bad painters a green light to reduce his vision to simple "prettiness",  a term that seems more like a case of unintentional condescension than anything else. Now,  that's scary! With hindsight,   Monet (1840-1926) can certainly be seen as the Father of Sh*t Art.  Thanks,  Claude.

1 comment:

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