Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Subjective Takes

On Paul Klee and Ali Banisadr

Paul Klee
"Ancient Sound, Abstract on Black"
Oil on cardboard
15 x 15 inches
"The work probes me, reads me, asks me questions, makes demands. If we see and acknowledge this connection between ourselves and works of art, art isn't merely a distraction, it is a means by which we begin to understand ourselves. Marcel Proust wrote, 'In reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self.'"

-Dr. Alan Jones, Reimagining Christianity
This weekend, I pulled G. Di San Lazzaro's biography of Paul Klee off my bookshelf, hoping to draw some inspiration from reproductions of the artist's paintings and drawings. As I thumbed through the book, however, various passages caught my eye, and I ended up reading much of Lazzaro's account.

Lazzaro stresses Klee's desire to achieve a "purity of expression." The artist apparently characterized his art-making as a relationship with "the very heart of the Universe," and Lazzaro provides quotations from art historians and personal associates of Klee that further elucidate the artist's mystical motivation.
"For Klee art was always cast 'in the image of creation'...The artist rummages in Creation's property box. There is nothing which does not serve him, nothing which does not come into his game - art and its oldest remnants such as inscriptions, mosaics, Assyrian tablets, cracked pottery, imaginary ideograms, graffiti; nature with its various processes and chance effects - its striations, strata and maculations, the slow wear of time which in the thinnest fragment of rock imitates the work of the human hand. The hand, in its turn, Klee said, must be 'the instrument of a distant past.'"
-Pierre Volboudt, Kandinsky

"Klee's world is [not] grotesque but mystical...For Klee, as he said to me in 1919, art was not there to reproduce the visible but to render visible what lay hidden beyond the visual world. He remained faithful to this doctrine and brought its deep meaning to fruition until, after passing through many intermediary stages, he achieved in his pictorial world...essential beauty."
-Carola Giedion-Walker
Yet, of the many 20th century artists that heroically championed the unconscious and the archaic, Paul Klee is perhaps the only one that your grandmother loves. Why? Because his paintings are colorful and inoffensive and, when not abstract, feature charming hieroglyphs, animals and stick figures.

Art writers most often describe Klee's work as "whimsical," "precious," even "child-like," but Klee disdained such mundane interpretations of his work. He dismissed "the legend of the childishness of my drawings" as the result of his attempts to "show man [not] as he is but as he might be."

Paul Klee
"Highways and Byways"
Oil on canvas
32 5/8 x 26 3/8 inches

Contemplating the disparity between Klee's stated intention and the general reaction of his viewers, I recalled something that I wrote in the comments section of a recent post.
"Art is subjective...and I feel that a viewer's experience and interpretation of an artwork is as informative and vital as the intention and creation of the artist. It's a conversation."
In short, the viewer plays a substantiative role in the life of an artwork.

Does this mean that Klee was wrong to assert his mystical motivation in the face of popular resistance? Not necessarily. Many artists sense Klee's profound striving. Undoubtedly, Klee would have approved of Bridget Riley's assessment of his paintings as "the process of things coming into being" and, in my art taxonomy, he is more closely related to the mythically-inclined Mark Rothko than he is to the playful Alex Calder.

Nevertheless, the popular response to Klee's work can not be overlooked. Art is a conversation and, in the dialogue generated by Klee, the perspective of artists like myself or Riley is representative of a small minority.

Ali Banisadr
Oil on linen
60 x 78 inches

A few months ago, I encountered the young painter Ali Banisadr's artwork for the first time. His riotous pseudo-abstractions compellingly communicate the distortions of violent conflict, yet the artist's all-over compositions also manage to effect a meditative state. Indeed, some of the works are mournfully elegiac. (His 2008 painting "Target" is perhaps the most obvious example; the picture acts as a Yantric focal point despite being dominated by a feral garden scene.)

Banisadr was born in Tehran, Iran, in 1976. His family lived in the city during the Iran-Iraq War and he states that "vivid memories of the bombings that...regularly occurred throughout his childhood" are a principal inspiration for the recent paintings. Banisadr's 2008 solo exhibition at Leslie Tonkonow Gallery received critical praise in a number of outlets, including The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Times, and jameswagner.com. Reviewers usually cited the same forebears and inspirations that the artist lists in the exhibition catalog.
"I want the viewers of my paintings to see history and human behavior at a macro level, by combining a great variety of influences that you can see close-up. Bosch, Brueghel, Persian minatures, memories, literature, history - I want to combine all of these things in my work. When you put all of this in the pot and stir, you create your own mythology."
Indeed, Banisadr combines these ingredients to excellent effect. Looking at the paintings, Banisadr's indebtedness to and admiration for the Dutch masters is immediately apparent, but so, too, is a great heave of ideological love and madness.

But one of Banisadr's paintings provoked an unexpectedly powerful association in this viewer, one that I'm sure Banisadr did not intend to stir into his eclectic pot. I'm fortunate to have neither fought in nor lived in the midst of war. Yet having grown up in the American South, I still identify the American Civil War as "my family's war." That association may seem disingenuous - the war was fought 150 years ago - but my homeground is marked by that terrible conflict in a way that the rest of the country is not. Gravestones in the small cemetery in the front yard of my childhood home speak to the pride Southerners had in their cause. Stonewall Jackson Kellam is among the dead buried in that cemetery. Kellam was a five-month-old baby when he died on October 3, 1868, just a few years after the close of the Civil War. His name honored Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the prominent Confederate general.

The Civil War colors Southern identity, and I am not immune. Although my paternal great-grandparents were a Hungarian Jew and Catholic seeking refuge and opportunity in Brooklyn, New York, the other seven branches of my family tree have deep roots in the United States, mostly Scots and Brits who immigrated in the 1600s. At least two of my great-great-grandfathers fought in the Civil War (one for the Confederacy, one for the Union), along with several of their brothers, and the records of their service are rather stirring. My great-great-grandfather Wesley Mayes Dance was fatally wounded several hundred yards away from the site of the "Crater" at Petersburg, Virginia. Wesley fought with The South of Dan Rebels, one of two Virginia regiments that held the Union advance at Petersburg until Southern reinforcements arrived. With bitter pride, I consider the fact that he and his fellow Confederates sealed the defeat of the Union attack on that day, thereby prolonging the war for many months.

Ali Banisadr
Oil on linen
50 x 66 inches

I don't often think about the Civil War, or even about my Southern identity, but in Leslie Tonkonow's gallery space, Ali Banisadr's painting "Amen" resonated for me, above all, as a picture of that history. I conceived of Banisadr's picture as a depiction of the Battle of Chancellorsville, one of the bloodiest, most frenzied contests in the war. The painting hums with electric life, yet is also a sad testament to our darker inclinations. I responded to the work with unsettling emotion; taking it in, my eyes stung with restrained tears.

As I departed the gallery, it occurred to me that I would be unable to write about the exhibition without raising my Civil War associations. I worried that this was too personal an experience to discuss, too private an interpretation to inform Banisadr's paintings for readers. If the artist didn't intend his paintings to conjure up Chancellorsville, how could I, in good faith, write about storied recollections of my great-great-grandfathers?

But as Proust reminds us, "in reality, every reader is, while he is reading, the reader of his own self." Artworks compel every viewer differently. More vitally, each individual comprehension of the artwork completes the piece anew. Klee's mystical intentions and Banisadr's Iranian memories are only part of the exchange. Art is, after all, a conversation, and a deeply satisfying one at that.

Image credits: Paul Klee reproductions ripped from Peplum and WebMuseum; Ali Banisadr reproductions ripped from artnet and Joann Kim's UpDownAcross


Donald Frazell said...

Klee was a poet. Of musical family, he had no interest in conversating or playing games, but understanding the pulse of the Universe, the feel of Oneness we get when absorbed in music, when the images that poetry evokes fill our being with pure passion, passions that run the gamut from grief to joy, but is never about the particular, the individual, but the whole. We are One. This is what Klee sought.

There is no dialogue in creative art. The artist simply seeks to trigger in the viewer emotions of eternity, of belonging, of losing ones individuality into the realm of All. The artist aims to evoke passions, but has no interest in what the viewer may have to say, he is too busy and his own hardest critic, there is no conversation. Either one is successful, or not. But not all will get it, the most successful ones are the works that provoke the strongest emotions, in the most people. And fulfills arts purpose. Klee did this incredibly often, a success rate as no other artist ever has achieved, at least, for me. And apparently many others, I have seen his most famous painting, Senecio, in many peoples homes, people who know nothing about art, let alone how to pronounce the artists name(Not Clay).

Until recently I had more of his reproductions on my walls than any other artist, with Cezanne, Gauguin, Rousseau, Matisse, and Van Gogh. As you can tell I prefer colorists in my own home, should have had some Bonnards, I now have a copy of a Cezanne I painted in the only art class I ever took, got whatever I needed there. Along with a Matisse, a Michelangelo, and a very Klee like painting, but using thick black wire to create a series of rectangles much like the one you show. Experimenting with color, and wanted to use it completely in a musical fashion, limited melody in the twisted grid, focuses on harmonies and the pulsing rhythm of colors.

There is no conversation in such things. I make, it either triggers the depth of emotion I seek to evoke, or not. Everyone is different, and not all react to visual arts. Some are more into poetry, prose, music, or sculpture. Not everyone is sensitive to color, or sound, or language. But most are into something, and we all have that inner need, that feel there is more, we seek. But seldom find. Art is evidence of more. For those who can feel it. It is not games, a lecture, a friend to talk to. Creative art is about the life force itself, the energies of our minds, our souls, our bodies in this world. It seeks God. That we are more than the sum of our parts. Not life eternal, at least not of the individual. But life as a gift, as special, that we are part of more. We lost our individuality, this is what Klee showed, not talking to another entity, but losing ones own in the vastness of humanity, nature and god. Timelessness, Vastness, Oneness.

Klee succeeded. If we do no appreciate or understand, do not feel, do not lose ourselves in the All, then it was not his fault. There is no talking, we have failed. Constructive self-criticism is a lost art, and must be done in solitude, something we have little of. The quiet we need to be at One with the Universe, in our age of electronic toys and gadgets. Klee, with his incredibly diverse universe of varied creatures and worlds, shows us the way. It is up to us to follow. As artists, we create our own, if our works do not stand up to the life energies and passion of his work, of that of others from Uccello to Pollock, from Bach to Coltrane, then we have failed, and perhaps should just sit back an appreciate those who can, have, and hopefully will. This is Creative Art. Life.

Art collegia delenda est

Hungry Hyaena said...


While I especially appreciate your connection to Klee's striving to communicate that "we are more than the sum of our parts" and the "vastness of humanity, nature and god," I disagree with your assertion that the "artist has no interest in what the viewer may have to say."

If this were true, contemporary artists responsible for creating artworks that have deeply affected me should have "no interest" in my experience of that work. Moreover, I should have "no interest" in any viewer's experience of my artwork. But I do. In fact, some viewer interpretations of my paintings and drawings have moved me in unexpected and valuable ways, though I didn't foresee the particular response they experienced.

I fundamentally agree that "creative art is about the life force itself, the energies of our minds, our souls, our bodies in this world." I just feel that is a conversation about those weighty issues.

Donald Frazell said...

It never was viewed that way til the Art Academy's were reborn in the 50s. I have works out there, my avatar included, I have no idea where they are or who bought them. Or care about what they think, as I assume they must have liked them to put out hard cash for it. Thats all I need to know, that i got cash in pocket and can go make more.

The art colleges would have you believe it is a conversation, that words are attached, so they can sell the idea of teaching creative art. It must be earned, it cannot be bought. Creative art, not illustrative art like the other guy in this thread, or design which is actually quite good these days, built off of Modern Art, has no prose attached. It is purely visual, and communicates to who views it, but does not listen in return. I dont care. I listen to great artists who have come before me, and learn from them. I dont teach them, they are a almost all dead anyway. What I feel from a work of creative art does not affect the piece itself, others will feel whatever they bring to the viewing, and whatever sensitivity to our common culture and feel for line, color and structure they have inherently, or learned. But there is no give and take. Take it, or leave it. Thats up to the viewer, and the only power he has. Which is a big one. So artist's are quite often frustrated with viewers, as was Klee. But some will get it.

Great art overwhelms whatever story or illustrative intent inherent in the piece. Most Christian art is just that, art of christ, designs to promulgate a story, illustrative of the common believe. It is usually just of god, or a certain believe system of the spiritual, and we are to take its lesson as told. It is illustrative art. Creative art has a power beyond this, that which lasts through generations, as the dogmas change with time. But art is of the eternal.

The Sistine Ceiling starts as illustration, as Michelangelo learned how to paint. It is just some good old stuff, nothing special. But then half way through the prophets and scenes of creation, it becomes about power and life and mankind, pure Creative Art. One can not know the story at all and feel the passions swirl, the communication of colors, forms, lines and raw matter. We feel connected to life, part of more, we lose our identities in the tumult around us, a chaos we perceive, but truly is not. For Creative Art finds the structures within, the order, the purpose, This is the stuff we love, the rest becomes dated, and passes into history. Creative and part of life, but not of real eternity. But as eternal as we little puny humans can conceive.

Art schools dont want you to know this, and have their own propaganda, simplified after getting their asses wupped by the Post Impressionists, who went straight to the source, Creative art as poetic, musical, evoking strong passions of being at one. This is truth. The power behind all religions also. Asallam Malekum, Gods peace be with you. Christians say this also, its all about peace. Not of the world, but of being in ballance with the Universe, part of it, accepting, humble. No one can be this way all the time, though Siddhartha and all the other Buddhas since, Yeshua, and possible Muhammad, though he did use a sword also, as did Moses.

There are many forms of art, but the colleges dont want you to know this, so they claim all is art, its everything and anything. But as Art is a word, a manmade symbol that must have a definition to have meaning, Art is therefore nothing. And an easily marketable commodity. Why do you think art is so bad now, and no one who is not "trained", like a poodle by the Academies, care about it? This communication stuff is absurd to most, we go to see, to feel, to be alive. And then we get this BS about communicating and illustrating questions, absurdist irrelevancies always, so they can always sell more to the gullible.

Dialogue is a lie, it serves the interests of the careerist teachers, who want tenure, "cool" lifestyle, and a cahnce to produce their own worthless inanities. Watch the film, Art school Confidential. My wife whet to Parsons for one semester, they loved her of course as an extremely intelligent, talented, and hot black woman. She already had a life and a degree, so moved on, and so has much more to say than any art school grad. And the movie nails it exactly. I always avoided art school like the plague it is, my mother a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Art, and my father an athlete. I got ballance baby. And can seperate myself from the absurdities of both. As well as its see its greatness, and Purpose in Human existence. Being a history major helps too.

Listen to Klee, and all other great artists, not some fools in academia, or your own desires. Learn from the Masters, they have done it, they know. But do it in your own way, just always measure you work against theirs, not the mediocre ideas and sales pitches of Academia

art collegia delenda est

Hungry Hyaena said...


Well, we'll have to agree to respectfully disagree.

While I share some of your skepticism of the art academy (especially after having earned an MFA degree myself), I don't explicitly agree that the degree mill is solely responsible for the contemporary art world's stress on commentary (or dialogue, if you prefer). It's my impression that the ascendancy of subtext-heavy "isms" (currently conceptualism and the associated backlash) was fueled by artists reacting to the introduction of photography, film and popular art.

Moreover, many artists in the 19th and 20th century, including Klee, used words such as "communicate" when describing their artistic intention. This suggests to me (and you, based on what you've written) that the artists wished to communicate certain ideas.

That said, if a Sunday-painting grandmother looks at a Klee approvingly, but feels that it succeeds because it's a "cute picture," then that is the level on which it succeeds for her. The same painting will be received differently by you. Therein we have the conversation. It is a conversation between different viewers and, in effect, the artwork. If the artist is still alive, she might well be edified by knowing what her work says to its viewers...and this, in turn, might well inform future of her artworks, whether consciously or unconsciously.

Donald Frazell said...

Yes, we do disagree, and thats cool, but I will stick to my guns, and they are developing into cannons, as the art world is now being outed as the business oriented entertainment for the rich it has become. The common person has no interest anymore, he did back when Modernism was at full speed, during the 20s and 30s as art nouveau was derived from Gauguin and his followers, and art deco from cubism. Both adherrants to Cezannes discoveries. Even when angered at Modernism, it was a subject that many individuals could discover and appreciate on their own, with no "training", which is actualy a form of brain washing. And it affected how we approached life, something Contemporary art has no bearing on at all. Its a dead end digression for a small and irrelevant sect.

Absolutely no one who isn't in the art field is interested in Contemporary Art, except the rich, for whom it is a form of absurdist entertainment. And investment. Not art as a living thing that enriched ones experience of life. Museums like MoCA here go virtually unattended, except artiste types, especially at openings, which are social events, not cultural about mankind. But are for a small subset of self interested children. Lots of brown nosing going on then.

I also disagree with your take on Klees art and how it is Felt by those outside of the art academy/gallery/museo complex. First, yes, art IS a form of communication, a visual language alone, no words needed, yet often used in poetic ways or formalist as by Braque. Words as manmade symbols that flattened the plane, yet implied a world beyond the picture. It is communicating discovieres of the artist TO the viewer, there are no return comments. That is an internal dialogue perhaps of the viewer, judging waht he knew vs what he was seeing, and feeling. As that if art has no passion, it is nothing. And so silly academic steilized theories are totally useless, worse, actually digress from arts true purpose.

To have a dialogue makes art into fashion, worried about what the consumer may want for the coming year, making art strictly a commodity to be sold to please a buying public, fighting for the almighty dollar and career. This crap of art being in involved with fashion week across the world is horrible, and why no one knows what creative art is, vs fine, applied, pop, and therapy forms of art. Those are not of the eternal, but have a seperate, and lower form of purpose. But you cant sell that in the Academies, mixing them all up is a much better sales pitch. And so destroyed creative art, as anyone can buy a artist label with a degree. No great artist has EVER graduated from an art school. And never will.

I dont care what others think, though my friends and those who mean something to me an have an effect, but they are already part of my life and who i learn from. So I agree with the Master of Aix. It is not permitted to disturb the helmsman. There is much to learn from what he, and many other artsits, said and wrote. Little, if any, from the hacks of academia.

Now back to Klee. You got some typical bad information about what he did and why. As he tried to explain, but you are dismissing. How can you dismiss what the artist himself says? Thats just crazy, and the cummulative effect of critics and others who never did and dont know, and their self popularizing theories. As Picasso said from the time he painted Demoiselles on, he threw out all he had learned, and started afresh. Looking at the world with mature, expeienced, probing eyes, not following trends or dictates of those who have never done. Listen ONLY to the words of those who have. No academic hack, no matter how intelligent or nice or cool, can ever do this.

Klee's art is apprciated by its inteneded audience, humanity, not for the small click of wannabes and self appointed Pharisee's of art. That this large groups doesnt put their emotions well into words is irrelevant, they FEEL it. He was a poet, evoking passions, using our common history, that which defines who we are. Of Nature, the wonders of life in all its forms. And God, for god eminates from all his works, the creatures, the cities, the puppet theatres he cated so a naive world, one truly of great maturity and wisdom, brought forth lifes gifts. As well as the nether world he created as death slowly took hold of him. Still, life abounded, and came from within the clutches of the grave.

Klee was no surrelaist, he created worlds. He was more Magic Realism, or Magic itself, in all its guises. Much as Miro did, who left surrealism, or a least took over its poetic wing, from the rather dismal and small world of the prosaic and gaming surrealists, Magritte, Dali, and Duchamp. For art school types forget whree Duchamp started, Dada and Surrelasim, his stuff is all games, not reality, not art at all. Questioning life, perhaps, but that is not art in itself, there is no god in their world. It is all about mans cleverness, his supremacy, his aloneness in the Universe.

Klee is closer to Rousseau, Redon and Chagall. With a solid grounding in Cezanne. Music and poetry flow. Life is exhalted, mankind but a partner in it, not controlling, but part of the whole. Ballance and passion being his goal. And should be ours. It is timne we returned to true Creative Art, not the decorative and amusing Fine arts of the rich. But of all humanity. And with Contempt-orary Arts death in the funeral pyre of laissez faire Capitalism, again, we can get back to what binds US together, what defines US a a people, what it means to life at one with the Universe, to worship God, the energy and Purpose of life.

The art academies are the opposite of this, manmade creations about the individual man,and his glory. And complete and total failure. Its time to move on. Its time we got to work.

art collegia delenda est

art collegia delenda est

Hungry Hyaena said...


It has to be pointed out that, for someone convinced that art doesn't engender dialogue, you're engaging in an awful lot of it!

Also, I think that many "great" artists attended their generation's equivalent of the contemporary academy, especially in Europe. During the Renaissance, it was apprenticeship to a master (for which the studying artist had to pay). In more recent times, it was schools such as Munich's Academy of Fine Arts and New York's New School of Design (attended by Klee and Rothko, respectively).

Donald Frazell said...

But they dont graduate. Just talked with a singer friend of mine, and from other musicians I know its the same in creative musics. Interpretive like classical, yes they stay the whole time, well, actually the wunderkinds are giving concerts by 18 these days. Technique and energy matter more than mature passion to many.

But at places like Berklee in Boston, and even Julliard where both Miles Davis and Wynton Marsallis went briefly, they leave early, hitting the road with the real musicians to learn the only true way you can. As the Renaissance painters did as apprentices helping on projects. One only gets a degree there for the same reason one does in the visual arts, to teach. Or god forbid, an art critic.

And Klee never graduated from an art sdchool, he taught for a few years at the Bauhaus, but was in charge of theoretical art, as it was a practical applied arts school like art Center and School of Design is here. Those schools are fine and necessary, Fine arts schools are not. Unless you are just making Fine art, which is decoration and amusements for rich folks.

Matisse tried teaching for two years, but gave it up, too frustrating, you cant teach someone to be creative and mature. Perhaps the best teacher I have ever heard of was Gustave Moreau, who taught Matisse and many others, Rouault being his favorite pupil, one of my favoite artists. Moreaus was very decoarative but intriguing, more like the central Europeans in his heavy incrustations and sensual designs.

Moreau told Matisse he would reinvent nature, or more properly, present it in a new way, but honest to what was true and real. He also said to not mind him, he was but a teacher. But he was also an artist, practically an impossibility. But the exceptions are necessary to always prove the rule.

I am on a short term crusade to get people back looking and feeling in the right directon, the Academies have completely ruined art, The mediocritization of the Pharisees, makes them try and corrupt all those who come before them, as they did to Yeshua. Few can resist. Their theories sound great, but have nothing to do with a reality that cannot exist in a sterilized academic setting. And youth are easily swayed.

Its truly simple, ignore ALL academics, take applied arts courses to learn a craft, sample different styles, and then do two things. Always only read and surround yourself with the very best, so one does develop that famous automatic shit detector, in ones own work as well as others. One must be the most ardent and honest in constructive self criticism. Never settle for less. Start over and over and over....

And do one lesson, and one lesson only. Lay out all the great works of the world. From every continent, from most cultures, some just arent good at visual arts, maybe better at cooking or music or something. Be honest. NO works of ones own generation, that is fashion, and easily corruptible. Study them for weeks. No reading about them. Frescoes, Japanese screens, African masks, new Guinean huts, I love the one at the Met. Is it still there? What do they have in common? Where does their power lie? What binds them as art, what triggers passion in the viewer. Sit and write this down, and then begin ones own work with those fundamentals one has found for oneself. Art can be made from anything, any motif, and any beginning point. But does it encompass all that affects ones mind, body, and soul.

Thats it. Nothing else is needed. If you cant do it, go find something else to do, or live life for awhile, no teenager can create art. You dont know anything, and nothing comes from nothing. We are empty vessels, fill oneself up, for one must have something to say, without saying it, but visualy reaching into the viewer.

Of course, the viewer may not respond. Happens to the best of em. Thats why one never listens to the viewer. Or certainly critics. One must constantly be growing and getting better, bringing in more, there is never enough. Its the only attitude that works, read what the artsits say, and throw out all critics and theoretical writings. Dont follow any one artist, but find what works for you, but build on what has come before. But make it a strong foundation, or your house will collapse.

Learn. I see little of this. What do they teach in art schools thse days? The shallowness is extraordinary. Again, watch Art School Confidential, John Malkovich is hilariouos, and Angelica Huston, who was married to the late Robert Graham, was on the spot. Its just like what my wife told me about Parsons too, which it is supposed to be.

Creative art is not a career. Its a calling, a priesthood as Cezanne said. One cannot expect to be compensated. But always try to be, gotta eat. Truly creative periods are usually short, one should have a day job too. Even Miles Davis burned out, came back, sounded better in tone to compete with Wynton's Classicist technique, But never reached his previous intensity, which was at its height from Kind of Blue in 1959, and excelent year by the way, to In A Silent Way, 1969, and Coltrane had died two years earlier.

If you can approach that level, then one is worthy of a Museums showing someday. But there are far to many museums now, and far too little quality works. Lets create divisions, for Fine art is NOT Creative art. The Bougereau's and Warhols, high society painting, can have their museums, but stop keeping Creative art down, for that is what has happened. Crap has seized the day, its time for a true rebellion, tear down the Bastilles of art, art collegia delenda est. Play Salieri and Philip Glass, while Creative Art has Bach and Monk in the air. But the academies love to claim they are the Thing, they hold and can impart the knowledge. Pharisees and Sadducees.

They are irreelvant to humanity at large, and thereofre, not art. It certainly does not have to be popular, but sometimes can be. But anyone from any walk of life with any level of education must be able to feel what they see, to be arroused to learning more about life, not just art. Creative art is philosophy, theology and science combined. The vidualization of what we know and dream of. Not what we WANT, but what we need to feel at peace, at one, not in charge, but in ballance.

You will never get this in Academic art, Its all compromise and careerism, its about self, its about position, its about the individual, not US. And it shows in society. We claim those be US, but act comletley as ME. This is Arts field, and has failed. miserably, for decades. And you can see the results around us. The lack of soul and sacrifice is astounding. Its who can die wiht the most toys wins. And why Hirst and so many others are so popular with the artiste set.

Go back to Cezanne, back to Michelangelo, back to Miles Davis. Art is defing mankind, exploring nature, and searching for god. Anything less is failure, or simply not Creative Art. The form doesnt matter, the Purpose is.

art collegia dleenda est

Donald Frazell said...

My bad, he did graduate, Klee did. But sucked for the next 16 years, it wasnt til he went to Tunisia that he truly became an artist, he was an illustrator, a rather weird one, for all that time. But had music and philosophy in his background, he was a visual poet. And one he rid himelf of the hamstringing ideas of academia, by feel the sun of Africa, he opened up and became one. Academai holds you back, As Picasso said, he threw out all he had been taught, and saw life fresh.

Always, art collegia delenda est

andrea said...

I was idly surfing googled images of Klee's work and came across this post ... and ate it up. Then the dialogue between you and Donald Frazell had some good moments. But as for the dialogue question, I'm with you, and because Klee succeeds on so many levels and with so many viewers he is truly a success in my opinion.

PS Funny that I should discover it on July 4th of all days.