Are we being extorted by art? | Page 4

Discussion in 'Politics (Toronto Issues)' started by Glen, May 4, 2009.

  1. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    "The oldest artwork extant was created on a cave wall by people who made their own materials and applied them without government support after a hard day of gathering and hunting"

    well we can be sure they weren't getting any 'government handouts', because....there wasn't any such thing as 'government'! and uh, money hadn't been invented yet.
     
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  2. adma

    adma Superstar

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    Well, yes, I agree that the mythology's juiced-up by bumph. However, "enormous national fraud" is a sophomorically pretentious way of putting it...
     
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  3. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    The Group were our Impressionists ... at a thirty year remove. But spider isn't going anywhere new - in the early '50s, Toronto's Painters Eleven saw themselves as an antidote to parochialism in general and the specific local art establishment that the Group of Seven represented - Graham Coughtry famously protested that “every damn tree in the country has been painted”. Maybe the Painters Eleven thought that their modernist abstract expressionism, part of an international movement generated in New York, was stateless. But there are visual themes in the work they produced that expressed the local, just as our Modernist buildings from the '50s aren't replicas of those being built in other countries.
     
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  4. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    i took classes with Coughtry when i was at OCA, because i really liked his work. he was probably the most significant painter Toronto produced in that era. i remember Carmen Lamanna used to always say "Coughtry really knows how to push that paint around!" its sad that his work has been largely forgotten.

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  5. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    I didn't take his classes but I remember him well. Tommy Hodgson ( and his parties! ) too.

    For those who don't evaluate the worth of art in terms of the fashionable/unfashionable cycles that it can go through, Coughtry always rocks.

    And, getting back to ponyboy's question about where the public art is, here's something that's maybe worth catching at the Artist Project at the Queen Elizabeth Building:

    Saturday March 6, 1-2 PM

    Jane Perdue: Toronto Public Art: What’s in your City?
    Jane Perdue, Public Art Coordinator for the City of Toronto, knows where the masterpieces are located! Perdue has been active in dozens of public art commissions on public and privately owned lands, and has worked with local and international artists to find the perfect art to reflect our City, while engaging us as an urban community. This illustrated talk will explore works by local and international artists including Barbara Astman, Carl Tacon, Douglas Coupland, Francisco Gazitua, Anish Kapoor, Fast Wurms, Michael Snow and James Turrell. Upcoming installations including projects by Vito Acconci and Mark di Suvero will also be discussed.

    Gazitua is the Chilean artist involved designing the pedestrian and cycling bridge across the rail corridor south of Front Street, who has a couple of large sculptures in City Place:

    http://www.franciscogazitua.com/eng/principal.html
     
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  6. MisterF

    MisterF Senior Member

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    Money and government as we know it is irrelevant to the argument. The cave painters probably weren't hunters at all. There were specialized tasks even in prehistoric societies. The cave painters were probably doing their thing while the big guys were out hunting. In that sense they may very well have been supported by the rest of the community.
     
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  7. spider

    spider Senior Member

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    Sorry sweety, the walls of my home are adorned with Degas and Monet.
    Your friend Coughtry's work looks like my shop floor to me.

    Different strokes for different folks, chacun a son gout.
     
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  8. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    ‘Shop floor?’—wow.

    Ok, you clearly have no idea of the historical background of the Monet calendar adorning your walls. So, as you clearly don’t know: the work of Monet and his fellow impressionists was initially greeted with hostility and contempt from both critics and the public, the paintings were openly mocked and derided as a joke. Monet's work was routinely rejected for inclusion in the official Salon run by the French Academy Of Arts, and if his paintings sold at all it was often for less than it cost him to frame them.

    According to one of the leading critics of the day, the paintings of Monet and the impressionists looked like “palette-scrapings placed uniformly on a dirty canvas. It has neither head nor tail, top nor bottom, front nor back.'

    So your claim that Coughtry’s work reminds you of your ‘shop floor' is as obtuse and insignificant as these kinds of opinions have always been. Its just amazing to me that they still exist, but the larger point is they simply have no legitimacy for one reason: you know nothing about the subject.


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  9. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    Nicely put.

    Don't apologize, honey - as has been pointed out, opinions similar to yours concerning Coughtry's work were made about the paintings of Degas, Monet and the other Impressionists when they first exhibited. Coughtry's work was part of a shift away from the paintings of the Group of Seven - which you also dislike. Interestingly, Degas hated to be called an Impressionist and was contemptuous of Monet and the other plein air painters in the group, but he's still an integral member of it. There were perceived differences between the work done by the Painters Eleven in the '50s, too, but the passage of time clarifies connections that sometimes can't be spotted early on, I suppose.

    The secondary market for Canadian modern art is actually on an uptick at the moment, thedeepend. This painting, Two Figures VIII ( 1963 ) sold for $60K - four times the estimate - at the Sotheby's show last December:

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  10. TonyV

    TonyV Senior Member

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    It has occurred to me that the two principal orchestras of Holland (population 16 million) are doing North American tours at the same time -- right now! These tours are never money-makers and are heavily subsidized by the state. I wonder if the Dutch feel that they are being 'extorted by art'! More likely, the Dutch know the value of putting their nation's artists on display.

    Toronto is culturally rich but our great performing arts groups don't get overseas very much, and when they do, government subsidies (from all levels) are necessary to pay at least a part of the touring costs. If the government were to underwrite touring to a greater degree, would that be yet more extortion by art?
     
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  11. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    Team sports = Own the Podium

    Performing arts = Extorted by Art
     
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  12. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    Carmen Lamanna For Beginners:

    http://ccca.finearts.yorku.ca/c/writing/g/garnet/gar002t.html

    Av Issacs and the Toronto art scene - 1950s to the mid-1980s:

    http://www.ccca.ca/c/writing/r/reid/reid001t.html
     
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  13. doady

    doady Senior Member

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    I think the reason why the same people who support public funding on pro sports and facilities oppose funding on art is just homophobia.
     
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  14. thedeepend

    thedeepend Senior Member

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    even at 60K it's still extraordinarily cheap! (unless its a small canvas--i wonder what the dimensions are?) the idea that an early important painting from a painter of that calibre would have an assessed value of 15K in 2009 shows just how far the secondary market for modernist Canadian art has to go...
    even in the 80's, Carmen was selling Paterson Ewen and Ron Martin paintings for 70K or so. the Ewen's have no doubt increased in value, but he's probably an exception....
     
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  15. Urban Shocker

    Urban Shocker Doyenne

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    I fell madly in love with a huge grey Richard Gorman painting when Christopher Cutts Gallery had an exhibition of his early work about five years ago. At $40,000 it was a steal but my place is far too small to hang it ... and I ain't movin' house no time soon. If I recall, there were some Hodgson's in the show too. Whenever I think of the work done by that group of Toronto painters in the '50s and '60s I get hot flashes and have to lie down and take a pill.

    Our little Gang of Four saw a couple of nice Ewen paintings at the AGH last weekend.
     
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