"I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future — the timelessness of the rocks and the hills — all the people who have existed there," he once said. "I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure in the landscape — the loneliness of it — the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it; the whole story doesn't show.
"I think anything like that — which is contemplative, silent, shows a person alone — people always feel is sad. Is it because we've lost the art of being alone?"
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Here is an article by Theodore Dalrymple at New English Review (I found this through Maggie's Farm). An exerpt:
It is here that Scruton’s argument becomes illuminating. The successful modern artist’s subject is himself, not in any genuinely self-examining way that would tell us something about the human condition, but as an ego to distinguish himself from other egos, as distinctly and noisily as he can. Like Oscar Wilde at the New York customs, he has nothing to declare but his genius: which, if he is lucky, will lead to fame and fortune. Of all the artistic disciplines nowadays, self-advertisement is by far the most important.
This is reflected in the training that art students now undergo. Rarely do they receive any formal training in (say) drawing or painting.
Indeed, from having talked to quite a number of art students, it seems that art school these days resembles a kindergarten for young adults, where play is more important than work. The lack of technical training is painfully obvious at the shows the students put on. Many of the students have good ideas, but cannot execute them successfully for lack of technical facility. Indeed, their technical incompetence is only too painfully obvious.
It is very striking, too, how few art students have any interest in or knowledge of the art of the past. Do you visit galleries, I ask them?
No, they reply, a little shocked at the very suggestion, and as if to do so would inhibit them in their creativity or to condone plagiarism.
As for art history, they are taught and know very little. This is all part of the programme of disconnecting them radically from the past, of making them free-floating molecules in the vast vacuum of art.