Thoughts after the fun tests

Here are the two tests that you may take it at lighter side.

True or fake art” is a test based on modern and contemporary works. I scored 75 in this test.

Famous or unknown artist ” is a test with mostly impressionistic works. Although I scored another 75, two works that I identified as by Eisenhower were categorized into unknown artists group, which I disagree. (The second one by Eisenhower is an imitation of his teacher, Arnold Grabone, whom I am quite familiar with) So actually I only made one mistake in this test.

It is no accident for less-trained eyes to score higher in the second test. Impressionism’s focus on primacy of colors can hardly be missed. But the eyes can be easily confused by abstract modern art works. Those whose eyes are used to tonal syntheses of paintings find their acuteness is hampered or dissipated in these wild concepts.

Knowing how to draw is no longer an absolute necessity for modern painters when personal expressions chooses succinctness and “true and tried” is violated with only the intention of violation.

The current bubble market of modern and contemporary art is largely due to a small circle of elite collectors, but also contributed to by the general public, who sense them in awe and mystery. The ambiguity of the works invites people to discover, and the pride stemming from “conquering” or “deciphering” conceptual works pleases them.

But this is true to all spectacular visual art works. They do not just interest people, they make people discover. Yet in representational works, the relationship of shapes, colors or deeper meanings are no less intriguing than those modern works. It is the general public who are fenced by their knowledge of terms and logic ( trees, lake, or horses) fail to recognize more, if not less, can be found from those works if they are willing to study them with the fresh minds and keen eyes. .

For me, paintings are meant to represent volume. In older masters’ works, it means perspective; in modern era, it means depth. Rothko’s minimalism works have tremendous depth because of their density, texture and scale. From the visible struggling and laborious strokes one is convinced by the credibility and complexity in works by De Kooning or Pollock. But when such depths disappear, as have often happened nowadays, modern art is squeeze into some special conceptualized taste, so that knowing who painted them is more important than seeing the works themselves.

About Hui

Wang Hui lived from 1632 - 1717 and followed in the footprints of his great grandfathers, grandfather, father and uncles and learned painting at a very early age. He was later taught by two contemporary masters, Zhang Ke and Wang Shimin, who taught him to work in the tradition of copying famous Chinese paintings. This is most likely the reason why critics claim that his work is conservative and reflects the Yuan and Song traditions. One critic claimed that "his landscape paintings reflect his nostalgic attachment to classical Chinese aesthetics. Along with the other Wangs, Wang Hui helped to perpetuate the tradition of copying the ancient masters rather than creating original work.

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