Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Small Clarification

Lest anyone interpret my post about the art museum wrongly, I should rush to add that I love art. I draw all the time (well, at least I did before I started at UNA; I'm good if I draw something on Sunday now). I love stuff by the likes of Caravaggio and Albert Duehrer. I can take impressionism, I suppose, but I prefer something that looks pretty much like it does in real life. Cubism? Neo-realism? What's the point of drawing something if every person that passes by it in the museum pauses, wrinkles their nose, and goes, "Huh?" (Which is pretty much my reaction with modern art... but then I like the baldachino in St. Peter's which people seem to hate now, so, yeah... my tastes are decidedly conservative.)

To me it seems that modern artists have sought so much to reduce everything to symbolism, to pure meaning, that the meaning itself has been lost somewhere along the way. The pursuit of one thing and one thing only usually ends in destroying that thing. The single-minded pursuit of health can end in doing unhealthy things. (Read G. K. Chesterton's Orthodoxy. Wonderful book.) Only the Ultimate can be pursued ultimately and not destroyed along the way. It's a matter of First and Second Things, as C. S. Lewis put it.

Yep, only I could turn an art museum into a subject for philosophical debate. But I'm open to opinions. Does anyone else think the supposed reduction to pure meaning of modern art has eliminated all true meaning?
In Pace Christi,


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