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Everything posted by Jonathan

  1. Shayne wrote about music, Then the concretes in abstract paintings and sculptures are the colors, forms and textures. The abstractions are their conceptual relationships -- which if it's abstract art, there will be some. Shayne wrote, Yes, I was being sarcastic. It's Rand's "objective" evaluation of Vermeer. She wasn't talking about a single painting, but the essence of his body of works. She thought that by her division of art into that which portrays man as capable of achievement and happiness versus that which portrays man as fated to defeat and despair, Vermeer's work represented the lat
  2. Shayne wrote, If I can find the time soon, I'll post a piece of music without identifying the title or composer, and then you can tell us which concretes it refers to in a precise, knowable way. I don't know. I think you might be using a woozy-floaty-touchy-feely emotional method there. What we actually have according to precise, concrete, Official Objectivism as explicitly stated by Rand is "folks next door" which reveal that Vermeer suffered from an inner conflict which, although similar but less offensive than Dali's, led him to combine his brilliant clarity of style with the bleak metaph
  3. Could an empty room with blinking lights be art? Possibly, depending on the context. I'd need more information to decide. (Last night I read a few chapters of a book. Was it art, Victor? You'd need more information to decide.) In these discussions I've given an example in which something that appeared to be an argument was art, one in which a gallery presentation of a shopping cart was art, and one in which a painting of a paint splatter was art. Not necessarily good art, but art nonetheless, even by your definition. It's not hard to imagine similar senarios in which blinking lights might be a
  4. The interesting thing to me is the power that these works have over some people. Most of it is pretty ineffective and irrelevant to me. Sometimes I'll think an installation or performance piece is clever or exceptionally odd, and I'll find myself reflecting on it now and then over the course of a week or two, but generally it doesn't grab me by the balls and make me spend endless hours writing essays, fictional stories or creating paintings about it. But, wow, how deeply it moves Victor and many other Objectivists! It owns a part of them. It controls them and their creativity. They'll write a
  5. Correctamundo. Christian wins 10 points (actual cash value: 0.000000001 cent). J
  6. Ellen wrote, I threw in the note about Newberry's tutorial because it popped up in my mailbox and it ties in to the discussion here. I didn't mean to necessarily address it to your attention, but to others who might be interested and reading along. It's a very basic introduction to visual abstraction that I thought might be helpful to those who aren't especially geared toward visual/spatial thinking (and from our many past discussions, I know that your mind can function very well visually, so I didn't mean to imply that you would gain much from such basic instruction). J
  7. Victor, I'm just curious as to why you don't have the same intensity of reaction toward Rand, Wright and everyone else who believes that architecture is art that you have toward people who believe that abstract art is art. Where's all the huffing and puffing about Rand trying to "destroy art" by including architecture as a valid art form and writing a very powerful, influential novel about it? J
  8. No, but good guess. You know what I'm up to. Further clues: 1. The critics of his time, as well as some of his friends, thought that his work was "extremely ugly...a monster of awkwardness," "stark, unmodelled...rude, incomplete, unfinished," and merely an "interesting experiment...without grace or times even bizarre." 2. He fell in love with a client and left his wife and six children for her. 3. His final masterpiece, which was to "embrace the sky as much as the earth," is a monument to non-objective art, created to honor the work of Kandinsky. 4. His lover and her two children we
  9. Victor wrote, Don't forget architecture, Victor. Just think of the billions in public dollars and private foundational grants that have been wasted on creating "art" buildings when steel and concrete boxes would have sufficed. And who was involved in the intellectual sham of promoting through her art the idea that architecture is art? Who was one of the world's most influential figures in trying to destroy the meaning of art by claiming that architecture was art? J
  10. Ellen wrote, I guess that's something that I really haven't thought about before. I've glossed over Rand's statement about art presenting "entities" open to "direct perception," since I took her notion of "re-creation of reality" to actually mean something like "creation of an imaginary alternative reality" in which the concept or appearance of entities (or some of their attributes) is presented. I wonder to what degree Objectivists' views on visual art -- both as to what is or is not art, and what is good or bad art -- have been influenced by the belief that visual art is primarily an ideali
  11. 1. Who wrote that each basic geometric shape has "a certain psychic quality which we may call the 'spell-power' of the form, and with which the artist freely plays, as...the musician at his keyboard," and that "geometric forms have come to symbolize for us and potently suggest certain human ideas, moods and sentiments - as for instance: the circle, infinity [and 'universality']; the triangle, structural unity [and 'aspiration'];...the spiral, organic progress; the square, integrity"? 2. Who, like Pollock, Gottlieb and Newman, recognized the power of myth, ritual, sign and symbol in primitive a
  12. Jonathan


    Victor wrote, Why is it a shame? Paint is a product created by man. He invented it to protect and beautify his world. As a still life, a painting of a splatter of paint implies that man is active and using paint to improve the value of the objects which provide for or give meaning to his existence. It's a heroic symbol of productivity. What subject matter would you prefer that I paint instead, the "ideal apple" that Rand described -- an entity whose existence and beauty are accidents of nature? Is that what you're saying, Victor, that you think man is a plaything of fate and that you resent t
  13. Ellen, Just a note to say that I've read your post #261 and hope to comment when I have more time. J
  14. Jonathan


    Dragonfly wrote, I think that "Mutatis Mutandis Mantis" might be a good title for my splatter painting. J
  15. Victor wrote, If I recall, they offered modifications to Rand's definition. Victor posted quotes from Gary McGath's review of What Art Is: Then abstract art is a legitimate phenomenon. Color, on its own, has strong effects on the mind and body. For example, deep warm tones, such as browns, dark reds and oranges, stimulate appetite, and blue suppresses it. Pink has a tranquilizing effect -- one shade of it is known as "drunk tank pink," and is applied to the walls of holding cells to effectively calm aggressive detainees -- where exposure to strong yellows and lime greens causes people to bec
  16. E asked, She meant that art is a stylized simulation - a substitute, a model, an imaginary alternate or potential reality, not a replication of reality. J
  17. MSK wrote, Roger's notion of "virtual entities" is pretty much what Kandinsky was describing in his outline of how color and shape can affect us, and I think young Rand was seeing the actions of "virtual entities" when describing the “laughing, defiant broken lines and circles cutting triangles, and triangles splitting squares" of abstract imagery: Laughter and defiance are some pretty advanced concepts to be finding in shapes, as are the virtual attributes that Rand later described as being embodied in the abstract forms of Howard
  18. Jonathan


    Jeff wrote, I gave a rough definition in post #58 on the Art and Subobjectivity thread: Also on the Art and Subobjectivity thread, Ellen gave a definition in her post #211 on Susanne Langer's ideas: Please shoot holes. Hopefully I'll learn something from you which will help me refine my thinking. Jeff wrote, Read the Art and Subobjectivity thread. :-) J
  19. There's been something of a surge toward realism in elephant painting lately: J
  20. Previous stuff on photography: On photography as a "re-creation of reality": The second image that I linked to in post 19 above is missing and I don't have a replacement -- not a big deal, it was just a close-up of the figures. And, obviously, don't miss the discussion on architecture in the above thread. On the alleged limitations of photography: The lin
  21. This is one of my favorite Kandinskys, Improvisation V: The first time that I saw it I didn't recognize that it wasn't pure abstraction or that I was probably looking at horsemen of the Apocalypse behind a red-robed, blue Jesus making an appearance at the Last Judgment. J
  22. RCR, You're welcome. Is your fridge the color that they call "harvest gold"? I'm pretty sure that's precisely the hue that Kandinsky had in mind when he described a certain sickly shade of yellow as being what most people would associate with the pungency of urine or the staleness of old, faded newspaper. :-) Btw, Victor is right about some of the views that drove the artists and theorists who came up with abstract art. Some of their belief systems were pretty loopy, and if you read more of Kandinsky you'll definitely run into it. But what I like about Kandinsky more than the others is that,
  23. Jonathan


    Here's a photo of a paint splatter that I noticed this morning on the marble sheet that I use as a palette: Here's a little painting that I created based on the splatter: Notice that I eliminated the textural imperfections and idealized the shapes. Since it is a painting of a splatter, and a splatter is just as much a thing from reality as a person, apple or flower, the painting is representational, realistic and objective, and should therefore qualify as art by Victor's and Rand's definitions. J
  24. That is false. Even in the excerpts that I posted, Kandinsky rejects the idea that anything "must therefore be eliminated." Every form, to Kandinsky, had an expressive power. The "pure materialism" that Kandinsky wished to rise above was that of copying the external appearance of objects at the expense of expressing individual inner essence. I think Kadinsky would disagree with you there. From Jonathan's earlier post: He's saying there that a painting must not have material value. How do you get around that? In the context of the paragraph which contains that sentence, Kandinsky is saying t
  25. Victor wrote, That is false. Even in the excerpts that I posted, Kandinsky rejects the idea that anything "must therefore be eliminated." Every form, to Kandinsky, had an expressive power. The "pure materialism" that Kandinsky wished to rise above was that of copying the external appearance of objects at the expense of expressing individual inner essence. J