I think the subject is going to end up being the dog one of the faculty members has brought along. Will he bark? Will he pee?
Talk about Expressionism! Talk about – hey now! hey! – patting the bourgeoisie, . . .
Some people, much as many artists long ago, first seek to learn some set idea of the basics before they try to make art. But, for one, we don’t know what the “basics” are any more. Perhaps the most basic and hardest thing is learning how to let one’s heart lose on the paper? And how do you learn that?
A progression, from the Picasso sketches that led to “Les demoiselles d’Avignon,” to Franz Marc’s yellow horses, to an abstracted drawing of a nude female model, done with pastels, water-soluble color sticks and an eraser, in New York, a century later.
Like Winston Smith in “Nineteen Eighty-Four,” we search among the scraps of the past to try to reconnect with what we hope were better times. And thus, for example, in the beaux arts we have Wendy Artin painting watercolors of Roman ruins or of naked twenty-first century models as if they were sculptural remains. We have painters like Balthus using Renaissance techniques, and, in the case, say, of John Currin, doing pastiches of Renaissance works. In the works of artists as diverse as Mark Tansey, Kara Walker, and the Indian artist Indian artist K.P. Reji we have a renewed interest in history painting. At the latest Whitney Biennial we even had young American artists quoting not so ancient predecessors such as Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha.
A version of Matisse’s 1914 painting of his daughter Marguerite in a leather hat, based on an image appearing in the “Matisse: In search of true painting,” edited by Dorthe Aagesen and Rebecca Rabinow (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012).