14 April 2008

Atlantic Path

Atlantic Path, 5x7", oil on panel.

It's really turning into spring rapidly around here, and the greens are getting a little brighter and more vivid.

This painting was made on a footpath that runs along the coastline rocks. It's a great little feature of Rockport. Although this is technically private land, there is a long public footpath that stretches along the coast, allowing everyone and not only the people who can afford it, access to the natural beauty of the area. The paths are marked with small signs, but you kind of have to know that they exist, and in that way they're a great local secret. As my wife and I get to know the area, the more we love it.

I've also been having a conversation with Jerry Sumpter over at √úberart about the need for opinion in art criticism and the ways to dissect the aspects of painting in order to evaluate the artist's achievement on each in turn. Morgan Meis at The Smart Set recently wrote about how art criticism has lost its ability to make proclamations on whether art is Good or Bad and he seems to be implying that currently the art critic's role is more as anthropologist in the mind-world of the artist. I tend to agree with him, and certainly the proliferation of different styles and avenues for visual art have made the dividing line between Good and Bad art increasingly fluid or at least difficult to define. The appeal of the art critic as interpreter is obviously strong, but it edges dangerously close to becoming a way to invalidate any criticism: any art is good art if understood on its own terms.

However, if one dismantles the artist's vehicle: message from form, technique from stylistic choices, one can evaluate each on its own terms and then reassemble them to form a critique that is not only takes the artist's point of view into account, but is also objective on each facet of the whole work. Do you agree?

No comments: