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Tony Grist

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Time For A Change [Mar. 26th, 2013|10:04 am]
Tony Grist
At the beginning of the 20th century there was a huge rejection of everything Victorian. The art, the fashions, the buildings, the morals- all were derided as silly and pompous and ugly. Thus far there has been nothing comparable with regard to the 20th century; we're still enthralled by its cultural icons, still worshiping, still imitating.  Roy Lichtenstein is being feted at the Tate and David Bowie at the V & A.- which is rather as if in 1913 those same institutions had chosen to celebrate Lord Leighton and Algernon Charles Swinburne- which of course they absolutely didn't.

Is the change coming? No signs of it yet, but perhaps the economic crisis into which we are wading ever deeper and deeper will bring it on. It's overdue, I think.The culture of the last century- with its compulsory nihilism, its dreary minimalism, its worked-to-death artistic and musical fashions- is getting to look awfully whiskery. Where are the young men and women of talent who will kick it into the ditch?
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Comments:
From: artkouros
2013-03-26 12:36 pm (UTC)
I wish I'd known to travel around in the 1960's buying up all those old Tiffany lamps people had up in their attics.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 01:45 pm (UTC)
I remember seeing a major work by Leighton in the windows of a Bond Street dealer c.1970. They wanted less than £1000 for it. Now it would probably go for a six or seven figure sum.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2013-03-26 01:01 pm (UTC)
I feel a call back to the spirit of Arts and Crafts:

“If you want a golden rule that will fit everything, this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
― William Morris

Not sure whether everything needs to both beautiful AND useful though, otherwise we'd have to throw out every painting except those that cover up a dirty mark on the paintwork.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 01:49 pm (UTC)
I look at Morris's papers and the mass-produced ones he hated so much and, frankly, I can't see that much of a difference.

Morris was a fine poet though. I love his early stuff.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2013-03-26 01:07 pm (UTC)
Obviously we need a Great War to categorically open a chasm between our era and that of modernism.

Joking (obvs). 1989 and 2001 were supposed to be exactly such turning points, ushering in the radically different post-modern, but it seems as though capitalism and late modernity carry blithely on nonetheless. And Modernism continues to be relevant as a response.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 01:50 pm (UTC)
It'll come though. I'm sure it will. I think the looming financial catalyst may prove the catalyst.

I'm tired of living in the 20th century.
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From: cmcmck
2013-03-26 01:07 pm (UTC)
Someone to rid us of talentless 'installment artists' would be a good start!
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[User Picture]From: lblanchard
2013-03-26 01:23 pm (UTC)
Where's the "like" button when you really really need it?
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From: cmcmck
2013-03-26 01:49 pm (UTC)
Curtsies :o)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 01:52 pm (UTC)
I sense change in the air.

For instance, I think Damien Hirst has been found out.
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[User Picture]From: veronica_milvus
2013-03-26 05:36 pm (UTC)
Change - and you shall be its prophet!
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 08:21 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't that be nice :)

Of course I haven't the faintest idea where the change is coming from.
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[User Picture]From: internet_sampo
2013-03-26 01:38 pm (UTC)
I like your style!

I wish we'd -just- see something new in pop music but it seems locked into the current money making paradigm.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 01:53 pm (UTC)
It'll come. And when it does it'll surprise us- just as the Beatles did.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2013-03-26 05:52 pm (UTC)
Actually, I went to Lechtenstein at the Tate, and am going to see the Bowie exhibition at the V and A. Are you saying that people should not be encouraged to appreciate artists that tapped into a zeitgeist? I'll remember that next time someone starts ranting on about why Mozart and Handel should be appreciated...oh, and the Renaissance artists too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2013-03-26 08:26 pm (UTC)
No, I'm not saying that at all.

What I'm saying is I'm surprised these mid 20th century hero figures are still in fashion. I'd have expected them to go through an eclipse- as the comparable figures of the Victorian period did at the beginning of the 20th century.
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[User Picture]From: ingenious76
2013-03-26 08:32 pm (UTC)
Well, I guess it just goes to show that what is considered good art never goes out of fashion.
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