Yesterday afternoon, PapaC, Zteen and I went to the Modern Art Museum in Fort Worth. The building itself is spectacular, as you can see above. I was much less impressed by the art and "art" included in the building.
I'm sorry, but much of modern art leaves me cold. Some of it I consider graphic design rather than art--but then I can't exactly put my finger on what my definition of art actually is.
What I know is that I don't think a green wooden box sitting in the middle of the floor is art. I don't think a fluorescent light mounted diagonally on the wall is art. I for sure do not think that a 12 inch square of light projected on a wall is art.
I think that some of the color field canvases are attractive--but no more attractive than an Amish quilt from Pennsylvania. And attractive in the same sort of way. So how come these giant canvases are hanging in a spectacular building in Fort Worth, and some Amish quiltmaker is selling her stuff on Ebay for $200? Now, I'm NOT arguing that the quilt is art. Maybe what I'm arguing is that the canvases are NOT art. I'm not sure.
Why is Roy Lichtenstein art but Stan Lee not art? Because Roy had a better agent? His pictures are bigger? He lives in NYC? (I don't really know where he lives, but you get the picture.) Or are they BOTH art?
And what is the deal with Andy Warhol. If that Campbell's soup can is really art, then isn't the artist the graphic designer who designed the can? Why is a giant reproduction of it ART?
I did think it was interesting that in the group of canvases by Warhol called "8 Myths" (Wicked Witch of the West, Dracula, Santa Claus, etc.) he included a picture of HIMSELF.
I do not think anything that you just FOUND qualifies as art--no sunflower stalks, no crushed car bumpers.
I do not think that random things glued together--including a feather, a string of Christmas lights and the packing stuff from inside a box--are art. But then that's just me.
And take the photography--there were some lovely photographs on display--but no lovelier than the stuff I have seen being sold at art festivals across North Texas. So how come what is hanging in the Modern "art" while the stuff in a booth on Main Street is "craft" and selling for $45?
Most of all, I do not think that a row of 28 plastic bottles with blue dyed water in them (forming a wave--oooh, ahhh!) are art. They might be a kindergarten musical instrument, though.
There were a few things I thought were lovely--a sculpture of a crooked ladder disappearing into the sky. A metal book with wings. A painting called The Ark by Melissa Miller, which captured all the tension of the breaking storm and the nervousness of the animals.
Most of the time I walk through the museum feeling like the whole thing is some cosmic inside joke, played on rubes like me who are just too declasse to "get it." Maybe I need a good book on modern art. But I think a lot of it is just a giant in-joke.
Anyway, take a look at the website for the Modern. It has about 215 of their collection pieces in the online catalog. The pictures rarely do justice to what the things look like in person. But at least you can see what I'm talking about.