|Untitled portrait of Queen Elizabeth by Damien Hirst|
There was an interesting article by Robin Pogrebin in the New York Times yesterday, Can old masters be relevant again?
It seems that those that have been anointed the titans of painting for the last six or seven hundred years are being largely abandoned in today's modern oriented marketplace, shunted off ignominiously to the dustbins of time.
As I have been saying for years, the millennial generation was destined to forsake the classical. Where it all ends up is anybody's guess. How we got here is another story. No more art or art history in the schools, to go along with no more music instruction, no more physical education, what is it again that they are actually teaching? And a celebration of the naive and infantile as opposed to the craft and tradition of fine art that has been handed down since Michelangelo and Leonardo.
Who do we blame? Wet behind the ears curators swept away in the latest fad or the next best thing? A public shift towards modernism that has lost its power to discriminate between decent and godawful? An aging collecting class that is giving way to, I daresay, an ignorant new generation seemingly without the slightest interest in either history, scholarship or acquisition?
Remember when proficiency in art required one to even know how to handle a brush?
|Banksy - keeping it spotless - sold for $1,870,000 2/14/08|
Now we are back to the caves, I suppose.
Contrast that artistic tour de force with this small drawing by one of the greatest renderers of the human figure of all time, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867). This sketch, Study of an anguished woman, for the martyrdom of St. Symphorien brought a mere $13,540 the same year at Sotheby's.
The first artist engages in a conceptual sight gag of sorts, the latter is in an intimate and sensitive visual relationship with his subject.
The incredible Italian renaissance painter Ghirlandaio has a painting coming up early next year at Sothebys, “The Holy Family With the Annunciation to the Shepherds Beyond, Italian Renaissance” oil on panel, circa 1500, $80,000-$120,000 that probably won't make reserve. His last painting didn't make 57k and it was a beauty.
“They want to be associated with the new and the now,” said Edward Dolman, chairman and chief executive of Phillips auction house, who spent much of his career at Christie’s chasing works by old masters but now focuses on contemporary art.
“We have no intention of selling old masters pictures or 18th-, 19th-century pictures, because these markets are now so small and dwindling,” he added. “The new client base at the auction houses — and the collecting tastes of those clients — have moved away from this veneration of the past.”
Moved away from the veneration of the past? Well, fuck me. Very sad indeed.
|Eli Broad and friend|
Don't know how I will be able to stand it really. The world we live in today really being truly divided up as pre and post Scharf.
Stupid shits that we are.