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Thread: What Do You Think of Abstract Art?

  1. #91
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    The particular artists could only be judged "lesser" or "greater" in relation to their peer group-- the Minimalists.

    As to the validity of Minimalism, it is certainly valid within a certain sphere-- the sphere of high end art galleries, museums and art schools.

    But, I would say that Minimalism is NOT going to be valid with the Thomas Kinkade and Hummel Figurine crowd! Because, for them, it would not fulfill the function they are seeking for their art purchases anymore than the MOMA or the Tate are going to see glowing cottages and Hummel Figurines as valid objects to purchase with endowment money.

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    What does classify art? Where do we draw the line?
    Many people say 'i like many of the abstract artworks... but bla bla'
    Is it about being visually pleasing?
    Is it about communicating something? You certainly could make a statement with a single dot.
    It may stop to communicate as you say if you take it of its context (the gallery) but that could be
    applied to many art forms by taking them out of their context.
    Not understanding the background, culture, political events, being withheld certain information can
    certainly cause the same effect.

    Is it about time and afford invested? everyone certainly take some random pictures with a camera,
    a single button is all it would take to produce a picture and you will at some point shoot something
    interesting at random... That in contrast to some photographers who would spend weeks to wait
    for the right moment or work with elaborate light setups and art direction.

    One certainly could make a quick sketch faster than the black panel was created.
    What statement and story does one artists tell by randomly drawing some object from his room?
    Is something that we can identify of a higher value than something that we can not name?

    Can we not communicate moods and feelings with color or shape alone? Does a picture or sculpture
    have to be a object referenced from reality? Can a abstracted shape not communicate anger?

    Robots can take photographs and draw too, does it make them artists or does it make their creator artist?

    Is art the idea or is art execution? Think about it.
    If you tape some pencils to some branches of a tree and let them paint on a canvas guided by the
    wind, is it art? Who is the artist? Is it the idea of doing it art?
    Can art be a idea? And it it can, how does it not make you an artist if you hire otehrs to create
    something based on your idea?

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  3. #93
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    All interesting questions! But, validity still is a key issue.

    Back to tools: in the context of removing Phillips Head screws, all the tools of the "form" hammer are pretty much useless, invalid.

    But, if I have an improperly tempered Phillips Head screwdriver that is too soft to actually remove screws, it too is not valid.

    In the first instance, validity depends upon context.

    In the second, it depends upon quality.

    Example: if Grandma's looking for Hummel Figurines for her birthday, what a surprise she's going to get if the grand kids, fans of po-mo, decide to get her an "equally valid" objet d'art-- a rotting cow head in a plexiglass cube full of flies and maggots.

    Example: Grandma gets the figurines instead. But, they've been broken in shipping or suffer manufacturing defects.

    First example, unless Granny's a Damien Hirst fan, she's probably not going see herself as receiving "art!" NOT ART = NOT VALID

    Second example: defective art = NOT ART = NOT VALID.

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    Randis: you said that you didn't say that everything is art- which implies some things must not be art, yes? If some things are not art then some things are art. Can something be art and not be art at the same time? I'm sure someone would argue yes but my belief is that no, something cannot be both art and not art at the same time. Can you clearly distinguish the line between what is art and what isn't? Some believe that line is suggestive and slightly blurred- and that lost edge between art and not art would be what others might call " lesser" art.

    also:
    "Can art be a idea? And it it can, how does it not make you an artist if you hire otehrs to create
    something based on your idea?"

    Does an idea have aesthetic value without being manipulated by an artist? I would argue no. And whoever does the manipulation or translation or execution of that idea should be credited with the artwork. A concept alone is not a piece of art and therefore the person who thinks of the concept should not be credited if they did not also make the artwork.

    Last edited by The Pariano; February 26th, 2011 at 02:39 AM.
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    Kamber, that still is not really my point.

    Let me try to break it down and simplify it some more.

    For me Art is simply Art. I do not differentiate, for me comics, fine art, photography, all kinds of music are simply art, one big thing.
    I do categorize art for the sake of convenience because 'art' is a very vague and wide description and so do most people. If you just say art, you could mean music, photography and so on...
    For example, this is a concept art forum, a specified field of art.

    People however often rate those genres in terms of something like 'Purity of art', 'grades of art'
    For example, i have heard from a couple of art students who did show artworks from this or other art forums to their professors only to hear that they should stop looking at that shit because it is not 'really art, not true art.
    If you approach some serious visitors of fine art galleries and museums and show them some some manga books, you probably will find people who will tell you that your mangas are not art.
    Even here on this forum some people think that anime is not really art.

    I merely pointed out that all art forms are equally valid.
    This is my point, despite some possible incorrectness in terms of my usage of certain words.
    If all people would see all the various forms of art simple as 'art' i would not have to use those terms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pariano View Post
    Can something be art and not be art at the same time?
    If i make a shirt out of some oil painting canvas, is it then a shirt or art?
    Looking at some beautifully crafted antique furniture, is it art or is it furniture?
    When does dancing become performance art?
    Maybe not the best examples but the lines can be very blurry.

    If one say that some artworks loose validity as art when outside of the gallery (in this case: their context) what about some artworks of picasso? Taking them out of their context by withholding the background information,the name of the artist, date of creation purpose or some political effect they may had back then, would the artwork stop being art?

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    But, validity can be seen to depend upon context or quality.

    I think what you are really saying is:

    ALL art is EQUAL.

    If you bring "validity" into the mix, then, depending upon context, something that is seen as "art" in one venue can certainly be seen as NOT "art" in another.

    For instance, I can say ALL currency is equally valid.

    NO! No it is not. If I go to Canada and return with a pocketful of "Toonies" (Canadian 2$ coins), no store in the U.S. is going to recognize them as "money" even though they are "money"-- in Canada!

    Art Example: I have a Randy Orton action figure that I bought at Fred Meyer for $15. I'm sure an artist had a hand in sculpting an image of Mr. Orton so that factory workers could crank out thousands of them so that kids who like WWE wrestling would get them to play with.

    But, I really don't see the folks at Sothebys, the MOMA, the Tate, the Louvre, etc. actually seeing a $15 toy wrestler as "art." Most kids who own one probably don't see it as "art." And, the factory workers in China that cranked them out by the thousands probably never thought of them as art either.

    But, is a Randy Orton action figure equal to rotting cow head in a plexiglass cube?

    Hell if I know!

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    All Art is equal? That does not make sense. Equal in what term?
    You have to state the term somehow. Equal in terms of quality? Value?

    Maybe equal in terms of being art? it may sound crude but that is what i mean with equally valid. I think you understand the meaning in context.

    All currency is equally valid...
    You can take the "Toonies" to a US bank and ask if the "Toonies" are a currency. They will say yes. Of course it is not a valid currency within your country, but a currency regardless and it is real and it has value (it can be exchanged).
    It is real money... you just can't use it in your country. It is cash, it is just not US cash.

    Some Sequential or a story board in some form can be compared to a comic, some may argue it is not a valid comic...
    and they may be right of course, but it still can be art.
    Art does not need validations within a specific genre to be art.

    You can create art that does not fit well in a genre, art can overlap in categories, it does all the time.

    Your currency example is rigid and imo not well applied here.

    Your action figure example, i see where you are going with this but that is getting very off topic. Personally, i do not see a wrestler toy as art, but i recognize the original raw model of this toy as art.
    You could take a roman statue, rescale it and sell it as a action figure, will it still be art?
    This is a whole different topic.

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    Art is often functional, art can take many forms.

    If i make a shirt out of some oil painting canvas, is it then a shirt or art?

    Yes, the image on the shirt gives it aesthetic value- alternatively if the shirt was specifically tailored or altered it can be art.

    Looking at some beautifully crafted antique furniture, is it art or is it furniture?
    Again, art is often functional. It has aesthetic value and was crafted or designed so it is art.

    When does dancing become performance art?

    The minute it has aesthetic value ( often) and is an artist expressing themselves ( always). The better question would be when does moving become dancing.

    Honestly I can't really think of cases where what you listed would NOT be art. All of them at some point were crafted or designed by an individual or group of individuals and most likely meant to have some aesthetic value.

    "A drawing is not necessarily academic because it is thorough, but only because it is dead. Neither is a drawing necessarily academic because it is done in what is called a conventional style, any more than it is good because it is done in an unconventional style. The test is whether it has life and conveys genuine feeling."- Harold Speed
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    Lot of Semantic Ballet going around here. I'm feeling that there's a failure to communicate, and we should just agree to disagree. Lest we all move to France and sit in Cafe's talking about High Ideals. =\

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    I think people need to start taking this for what it is, an argument in semantics. What is art? What is food? What is a car? Is it art if I don't like it? Is it art if it serves no purpose? Is it food if it isn't nutricious? You could keep discussing this forever.

    The minute it has aesthetic value ( often) and is an artist expressing themselves ( always). The better question would be when does moving become dancing.
    But there you have a new problem. Who decides what has aestethic value? What does that even mean? Can something have aestetic value without being art. Obviously because you wouldn't concider a beatiful scenery art unless it's painting of it. Anf yeah, when does movement become a dance? When do sounds become music? We all have a clear perception of what is music and what isn't. But it's still hard to say exactly when the change occurs.

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    Art is art. But some art is derivative shit and has less worth than art created for a higher purpose. (Don't ask me to define what that higher purpose is, I'm neither well read nor old enough)

    Jane Eyre is a book that has been tested in the fire of critique, sales and popularity and in many other ways. That is fine literature. It is in the canon for a reason. "Death Commando VI: Jungle War" is not. It is a piece of culture that has many characteristics of literature and technically could be called a work of literature but it has substantially less worth and it's creator deserves lees fame and reward. It will not stay in print. It is amusing, but it is ultimately shit and unworthy of the name of art or literature.

    Coppola's "The Conversation" is a great peice of film art that deserves to be preserved and lionised as a high point of 20th century culture. Return of the Jedi is not.

    A Saun Tan book is a piece of high quality children's art/ literature created by a mature, thoughtful artist at the peak of his powers . A pokemon tie in book is not.

    Fine literature is more valid than genre fiction. Fine art is more valid than genre art. Genre culture production requires technical skill, but shouldn't be mistaken for quality. culture. Why? Because it is just an endless rehash of tired old tropes and unimaginative junk.

    Quality is real. Relativism is bullshit designed to make lazy morons feel good about themselves.

    Randis, you are an awesome artist and I have total respect for what you do but I think you are wasting yourself. Producing genre culture is just a job, like any other. Art is a calling.

    When I was 15 I had no idea who Dostoevsky was. When I was 25 I found his work dense and impenetrable. At 35 I couldn't put it down. At 45 I hope to really start to get it. At 55?

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  15. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pariano View Post
    Honestly I can't really think of cases where what you listed would NOT be art. All of them at some point were crafted or designed by an individual or group of individuals and most likely meant to have some aesthetic value.
    Your question was:
    - Can something be art and not be art at the same time?

    You have answered it yourself. Art can be functional.
    A chair can be a piece of art but at the very same time also furniture. Furniture is not art by default. So, you have something that is at the same time, both art and a furniture.
    You can make a cake art too and it will be food at the same time.

    Most items in my toilet have aesthetic values too btw.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Atreides View Post
    Art is art. But some art is derivative shit and has less worth than art created for a higher purpose. (Don't ask me to define what that higher purpose is, I'm neither well read nor old enough)

    Jane Eyre is a book that has been tested in the fire of critique, sales and popularity and in many other ways. That is fine literature. It is in the canon for a reason. "Death Commando VI: Jungle War" is not. It is a piece of culture that has many characteristics of literature and technically could be called a work of literature but it has substantially less worth and it's creator deserves lees fame and reward. It will not stay in print. It is amusing, but it is ultimately shit and unworthy of the name of art or literature.

    Coppola's "The Conversation" is a great peice of film art that deserves to be preserved and lionised as a high point of 20th century culture. Return of the Jedi is not.

    A Saun Tan book is a piece of high quality children's art/ literature created by a mature, thoughtful artist at the peak of his powers . A pokemon tie in book is not.

    Fine literature is more valid than genre fiction. Fine art is more valid than genre art. Genre culture production requires technical skill, but shouldn't be mistaken for quality. culture. Why? Because it is just an endless rehash of tired old tropes and unimaginative junk.

    Quality is real. Relativism is bullshit designed to make lazy morons feel good about themselves.

    Randis, you are an awesome artist and I have total respect for what you do but I think you are wasting yourself. Producing genre culture is just a job, like any other. Art is a calling.

    When I was 15 I had no idea who Dostoevsky was. When I was 25 I found his work dense and impenetrable. At 35 I couldn't put it down. At 45 I hope to really start to get it. At 55?
    So according to what you say, your art is derivative shit?

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    Yeah, the stuff I do every day for money is derivative shit. I make no bones about it. I get paid to do game art and sometimes illustration of hackneyed, unimaginative subjects in styles which are neither challenging nor original.

    Honestly I find it rather boring, but it pays the bills and is definitely more interesting than otherjobs. But it is just a job.

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    You know that many artists here love what they do and enjoy their work right?
    Some jobs may be boring but in general people try to put love and effort in what they do and it much reflects in their work.

    Your art view is sad IMO, very sad.

    What about the things you paint in your free time? Does it serve a what you call 'higher purpose?'

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    Ah, but I don't find making art sad or boring. I love making art. Art rocks. But there are only so many times you can be told to "make it look like angry birds" before you start to yawn. It's human nature. I'm not complaining, I do my own stuff at night and have a ball. But to me a day job is just a day job.

    My own stuff? I probably wouldn't call the stuff I do now real art. I hope that when I am more mature and have a better understanding and purpose I'll be able to produce worthy art. I ain't no Howard Pyle yet, that's for sure.

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    Artreides reference to "relativism," which echos the direction Caw was taking, is really the crux of the matter.

    Randis' use of the term "equally valid" is not unique. The phrase usually pops up in discussions of cultural relativism.

    What's bothersome about this relativism is that it smacks of the "everybody gets a trophy just for showing up so nobody feels bad" way of thinking that, I believe is responsible for much damage to society-- particularly in the areas of education and assimilation of immigrants into Western society.

    I've probably re-invented the wheel in attacking the term "equally valid," attacking it as I have with the dictionary and by bombarding it with chocolate hammers, toonies and graven images of Randy Orton.

    I've convinced myself, anyway, that the term is devoid of meaning.

    But, I'll try to place Randis' argument in a nutshell. I think it just bothers him that "the powers that be" deem Fine Art to be "better" than Commercial Art.

    Hell, I think James Gurney is an incredible artist. And, I don't think Damien Hirst is really even an artist at all. But, the NYC galleries, the major auction houses, and the elite museums disagree-- and, they're the bouncer in charge of the velvet rope who decides who gets into the club-- and, Gurney's not "on the list" but Hirst is.

    Such is the nature of validation by authority!

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    Kamber, I think you're still confusing "equally valid" with "equally good". Nobody ever said that all artworks are as good as all other artworks, just that they're all art forms. And there are good and bad in all genres.

    Hell, I think James Gurney is an incredible artist. And, I don't think Damien Hirst is really even an artist at all. But, the NYC galleries, the major auction houses, and the elite museums disagree-- and, they're the bouncer in charge of the velvet rope who decides who gets into the club-- and, Gurney's not "on the list" but Hirst is.

    Such is the nature of validation by authority!
    Except the NYC galleries aren't really an authority. They're just a bunch of snobs who think one thing. You don't have to agree, luckily. You're free to start your own gallery with your own style of paintings.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    Kamber, I think you're still confusing "equally valid" with "equally good". Nobody ever said that all artworks are as good as all other artworks, just that they're all art forms. And there are good and bad in all genres.



    Except the NYC galleries aren't really an authority. They're just a bunch of snobs who think one thing. You don't have to agree, luckily. You're free to start your own gallery with your own style of paintings.
    They are a pretty big authority in the Fine Art world. Those with the money generally have the authority. I mean if you look at the history of art, while artists may have made their work for the poor and for humanity in general. The way you get famous as an artist (this is general, ofcourse there are exceptions) was by being featured in a famous gallery of having your work bought by a famous critic or a rich philanthropist. Even now if you want to make it in Fine Art (which like it or not many people consider to represent the whole art world) you have to feature in a major gallery or be praised by a critic.

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    Let me share my 2c.

    I think we can compare art to food for this discussion.
    Everyone can do some cooking, however results may vary. And certainly not everyone is a cook.
    Picking an apple from a tree is not the same as cooking, throwing a few random ingredients together also doesn't really count as cooking I think.

    Some people are very good at cooking but only cook for limited groups (friends, family). Others who are worse have their own restaurant. And even with restaurants there is great variation where being better known does not mean you make better food.

    Now there is even more. I might not like the food you like and might not even be able to eat your favorite food. For example because it could be too spicy.
    But I can learn to eat and appreciate it.

    However, when you throw together random ingredients chances are low that this will produce great food. This goes for all food in all cultures.

    Maybe this can help resolve the 'abstract art' discussion a little?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    Kamber, I think you're still confusing "equally valid" with "equally good". Nobody ever said that all artworks are as good as all other artworks, just that they're all art forms. And there are good and bad in all genres.



    Except the NYC galleries aren't really an authority. They're just a bunch of snobs who think one thing. You don't have to agree, luckily. You're free to start your own gallery with your own style of paintings.
    Nope!

    In my own mind, at least, I think I've utterly demolished the very idea of the "equally valid!"

    It makes no more sense to speak of the "equally pregnant" or the "equally dead."

    Pregnant's pregnant, dead's dead.

    But, something that's "valid" in one culture, say polygamy, can be utterly NOT valid in the context of another culture.

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    I remember reading some sculpture magazine, and there were these highly abstracted pieces. Some guy was interviewed about a giant half a head that had it's mouth missing and it's skull cut open. He was interviewed, and he said it's a self portrait, it's split open to represent the fact that he's open to new ideas, and he said the mouth is missing because when he stops breathing is he between like and death, or something like that. There was also a little statue on the piece, and he said it's a reference to his other work.

    Now without looking at the interview, you have no context and therefore a completely different view. If you didn't follow the guy, you don't know about his work, or that he referenced it.

    Personally, I prefer art that doesn't need so much context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamber Parrk View Post
    Nope!

    In my own mind, at least, I think I've utterly demolished the very idea of the "equally valid!"

    It makes no more sense to speak of the "equally pregnant" or the "equally dead."

    Pregnant's pregnant, dead's dead.

    But, something that's "valid" in one culture, say polygamy, can be utterly NOT valid in the context of another culture.
    equally pregnant could be that both women have been pregnant as long as the other. Death is ultimate, therefore you can't be more dead than someone else. But it doesn't really matter. Because it has nothing to do with art.

    All forms of polygamy are equally valid as polygamy. Whether you have fifteen wives or two, you're still polygamous. Some might say that fifteen wives is overdoing it, and some might say that just having two wives is barely polygamy at all. Yet what they think doesn't really matter. Having more than one spouse is still considered polygamy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobbA View Post
    equally pregnant could be that both women have been pregnant as long as the other. Death is ultimate, therefore you can't be more dead than someone else. But it doesn't really matter. Because it has nothing to do with art.

    All forms of polygamy are equally valid as polygamy. Whether you have fifteen wives or two, you're still polygamous. Some might say that fifteen wives is overdoing it, and some might say that just having two wives is barely polygamy at all. Yet what they think doesn't really matter. Having more than one spouse is still considered polygamy.
    Pregnancy is a state of being, no matter which stage of pregnancy it is, you're still Pregnant. I believe that was the essence of what he was saying.

    Same with Polygamy. I think what he meant by valid was.
    In some cultures Polygamy is "valid" as an acceptable practice. While in others it is invalid.

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  30. #116
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    And art is a matter of doing. No matter how you do it it's still art. I'm not even sure what we're discussing anymore...

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    Randis is offline ( ゚∀゚)/ ♥♥♥ おっぱい!おっぱい! Level 13 Gladiator: Retiarius
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    Kamber, i took the time and explained why i used the term,
    I am sure there are better ways to say it but if you don't get it, i am sorry,
    Not sure if you are just trolling, if it is too difficult of an idea for you to comprehend, or if you are just being a dictionary nazi here.

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    Hey Randis,

    I've pretty much laid out my position to the point of exhaustion!

    [And, it was actually a pretty interesting exercise in critical thinking.]

    Don't think there's much either one of us can say without just repeating ourselves over and over.

    Tis for other thread readers to decide what of either of our positions they wish to take or discard.

    So, I'll give you the last word and bid you a fond adieu-- this time anyway!

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    now on netflix:

    "A Bucket of Blood"
    "Walter Paisley (Dick Miller) is a shy busboy at a hip coffeehouse where beatnik poets perform. Yearning to be accepted into the world of avant-garde art, Paisley finally gets his chance when his sculpture of (and containing) a dead cat turns him into an overnight sensation. Barboura Morris, Ed Nelson and future game show host Bert Convy co-star in B-movie king Roger Corman's classic black comedy."


    not art but more exciting than this topic

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    I liked Kamber's condition that art be vaild, like a tool for its purpose. I think that is part of what makes a work of art. There are other notions being thrown around here too.

    What makes art worthy or good? It is different in every society. Western society has currently decided that art should be intellectually stimulating and conceptually interesting in order to qualify as good art. In the 19th c I bet it was more about verisimilitude and technicality. Before that religious issues were at play. In native australian culture art derives its quality from the fact that it transmits law, culture and tradition. It is a mnemonic device for a pre-literate culture and aesthetics are secondary. In Eastern art notions of immedicay and capturing moments of experience hold more sway.

    What makes art good varies with time and place and context. 21st c Western art values concept.

    So here are some conditions that mujst be met to make good art in our context:

    valid (fulfills its function)
    meets contemporary notions of what is good art
    quality (is well done)

    Good abstract art fulfills those conditions and is therefore good art.

    In response to the post above about the sculpture of a head cut away:

    Yes, art loses quality if it requires explanation and might thereby become 'not good art'. However, I wouldn't find that sculpture challenging and I wouldn't need it explained to me. I would enjoy coming up with my own thoughts about it and that is what makes it interesting. This is what I was getting at when I mentioned Dostoevsky earlier. When I was younger I was quite frankly, too dumb to get it. Now that I am older, I can appreciate his masterpieces. Should art be made that cannot be understood by people who aren't intellectuals? Yes, just as physics and engineering and law should be perpetuated in their full complexity, even though most people don't get them.

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