The Future of Art


Is modern painting as a serious art form dead? This was a topic of discussion on a LinkedIn web site recently and the answer is-- in some venues, yes. The good news is that out of these ashes, clear, meaningful art will arise.

Art in major galleries today is suffering like a drug and/or alcohol addict. It’s addictive to get a lot of publicity for creating off-the-wall works. Sometimes these “addicts” have to hit rock bottom before climbing out of the abyss. Rock Bottom is definitely here.

In New York at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) there is a show of disparate works, Alibis, by Sigmar Polke. He states “ Art is Lies. Lies are art, Right?” He strove to have “no meaning” in his art. He succeeded.  His works do not draw one in. One doesn’t know where to look. One can easily breeze right by his massive amount of work.

In an odd way Polke’s work relates to a show at the Asia Society in NY, “Golden Visions of Densatil” The Communists, attempting to destroy all art, literally obliterated the Densatil Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in their cultural revolution.  Fortunately, photos of the Monastery before the destruction show the art. It was like looking into a home on the TV show “Hoarders”. Chaos reigned with hundreds of pieces of art jammed together and stacked at least 10 feet high or higher in the monastery. Again, one does not know where to look. However, some of the art from Densatil was rescued and brought together for a show at the Asia Society. Here the works were separated, each one given a chance to breathe and be viewed separately. In this setting they are more meaningful and one is drawn to take a closer look.

This is where art is going. Rising from the ashes, look for art that is clear and meaningful. Even if one doesn’t understand the work one should have a sense that the artist is trying to say SOMETHING.

© Judy Enright 2012