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Radical art has become the establishment

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#16 Alexandra


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Posted 11 September 2003 - 07:08 AM

kfw, I agree -- I think there are signs of a return to beauty. I've read that there's a group of young architects who are interested in neoclassical architecture, as an example.

Although I'm fond of the pendulum theory -- not that the pendulum ever swings back, really, at least, not back in a straight line; it swings in another direction, back-ish -- more and more I think that all elements exist in all times. There are always people with romantic sensibilities, classical sensibilities, always rebels, always rule-followers, always people who build and those who tear down (I don't mean in a destructive sense), and always people who make their best work when they're totally free and those who need to be told "I need a painting that's 3 x 5 using only blue" or "I want a four-and-a-half minute variation for a Blue Bird that follows this story."

I think (and this is a big "I think") what happens is that during each era one of these sensibilities becomes dominant -- there's one artist who captures the spirit of the age -- but the others are still there, lurking along the sidelines, and creating art in the image of the Dominant one, but in his/her own way.

In ballet, you definitely see the tension between technique and expression, or form and expression, form and content. I think it's especially visible in British ballet -- the fight between neo-expressionists and neo-classicism that is exemplified in the post-War era -- "Adam Zero" vs. "Symphonic Variations" There were always Adam Zero people and always Symphonic V people, and one or the other dominates at different times.

#17 diane


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Posted 11 September 2003 - 09:18 AM

Thank you for those thoughtful responses.

I would welcome a "return to beauty", for sure.

That book which kyw mentioned ("a little 1999 book by Harvard professor Elaine Scarry, "On Beauty and Being Just" ") sounds intriguing.
I shall see about finding it.


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