Modernism Reviewed: 1913

Marnee's picture
Submitted by Marnee on Mon, 2006-09-25 18:48

I just discovered what the New York Times is good for: the past! It turns out that a subscription to the NYT will get you access to nearly their entire digitized history of newspapers dating back to 1851.

On the GoodArt forums, a grascious member has generously posted a couple of the articles of art reviews for a certain "Dada Master", Marcel DuChamp. Its a terrific read.

Here are the two link to images of the articles that he has provided on his site.

Nude Descending a Staircase

    What the Post-Impressionist eye sees in it, if anything, is not for the uninitiated to repeat. To others it looks like almost anything except a nude descending a staircase, and most--though not much—like an explosion in a shingle mill. One observer, who is still young enough to remember his Hans Christian Andersen, rejected this similitude after toying with it for a while, and declared that there was no mystery for the excellent reason that there was no picture.

Letter to the Editor

    A painter and student of matters of art – please note the distinction – would like the privilege of your columns to say: Do not be disturbed – you have not gone crazy, and art, the dainty goddess, still is….
    Savages and children practice this art sincerely, and get over it as fast as they can. In the new Encyclopedia Britannica there is a picture of the extinct European bison, done 50,000 years ago. It is the oldest painting known. It is identically the art of the armory, only it is real and not an imitation....
    Now as to those louder armory pictures – disregarding cubism &c. – one has no difficulty in seeing that they consist of a jumble of lines and patches, and that they are very ugly. The formula for the production is to compel a painter to use only 2 per cent of either his knowledge or his taste…. Having the least possible quantity of either, they neither interest nor please, they are neither words nor music. As to color – it does not exist; its place is taken by mere pigment. As a whole, they are to art what “pi” is to literature….
    Brains and taste, labor and skill, love and patience, are back of all art. Omit these and you get – these other things [meaning abstract expressionism].

One member made this very cool comment:

    back then even the critics writing is more eloquent and romantic than a post-modern painting
    are not those of us who have discovered the past now experiencing a new renaissance of art and literature - similar to the way the first renaissance artists did upon a renewed interest in greek and roman antiquity?

You can join the GoodArt forum here.

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