Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

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Greta
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Greta » September 30th, 2015, 8:03 pm

Ecurb wrote:If societies change, is that healthy, or does it mean the society has "failed"?
I thought that was the idea of the OP - how changes in art may associate with upswings and downturns. For instance, it was noted that hemlines rose and fell along with economic prosperity http://womenshistorynetwork.org/blog/?p=2804.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » September 30th, 2015, 11:15 pm

Belinda wrote:
If you feel a lack or want to know about it, look into it. Maybe don't interpret so much as experience the art. You don't need to bring the experience into language, just recognize the experience, give it importance, enjoy it. I think this is an aesthetic method worth cultivating, it's almost lost to our culture.
I understand what you advise about aesthetic method and how it's worth cultivating. However I suppose that analysing ideas about art is appropriate to philosophy. Analysing ideas involves use of explicit language and explicit ideas concerning art. For instance, when someone asks "What is the nature of art?" one sort of answer might concern brainminds and what scientists have to say about it.
Yes, not that we shouldn't talk about art. There's lots to say.

But what I meant to say is, in the end, and where the rubber meets the road, art is a non-verbal medium. It's an experience, a bit hard to fit into language. John Dewey's 1934 book of philosophy lectures, "Art as Experience" has more along these lines. This book informed artists in the abstract expressionist movement.
fair to say

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Misty » October 1st, 2015, 1:55 pm

Teachers of young children can get good ideas what is going on in a child's home by their art. Sometimes a child's art shows a home falling apart. Relative?
Things are not always as they appear; it's a matter of perception.

The eyes can only see what the mind has, is, or will be prepared to comprehend.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Frankgielen » October 6th, 2015, 7:01 pm

I would argue that there are instances of realism in art that advanced a culture. I think of 15th century Netherlandish painting (van Eyk) which was educational, spiritual as well as political. What I do find interesting is that Soviet and Chinese socialist art which was dismissed as mere propagandistic illustrations in the western world, has more recently been considered Art.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Supine » October 8th, 2015, 11:35 am

Atreyu wrote:
Mikel wrote:I had an art history teacher that used to tell me that you can determine how close a society is to crumbling by looking at its art. Any society that enjoys realism in art doesnt have much of a chance at staying around long. Do any of you know whether abstract or realistic art will ever be able to live in the same world?
I think there is some general truth in this idea.

My general opinion is that the less in contact a civilization is with "the Abstract", then the closer it is to collapsing. But there is a lot behind this idea, and I'm not sure I should elaborate on it at the moment.....
West African art was abstract before that style became vogue in the Western World. Nonetheless, those abstract ceremonial masks and wood carvings never prevented the collapse of West African tribal nations and kingdoms to the merchant and armed forces of the West.

"Realism" expresses itself in other ways out side of the canvas and brush. I would say it can be found in anthropology class rooms with the hanging white bones of whole human and ape skeletons. Or what about realism in medical text books (photographs, drawings etc.) or realism in astronomy text books (photographs) or realism in cinema in cases of war movies or cowboy movies? (Versus more white-washed--less realistic--war and cowboy movies)

Assuming I'm properly understanding what the term "realism" connotes. It's possible I'm misunderstanding it.

-- Updated October 8th, 2015, 9:50 am to add the following --
Ecurb wrote:Since all societies eventually "fail", all art (whether realistic or not) "ends with society failing".
You may be right about that.

What art style was in vogue when the Ottoman Empire fell? In vogue within the Ottoman Empire that is.

But when it comes to television I have to wonder if art helps facilitate the moral collapse of a nation? Think of Leave it to Beaver compared to say... How to get Away With Murder. I appreciate both on their own terms being cognizant of the times both were a product of or are. But How to get Away With Murder appeals to me more, for a number of reasons. Albeit, I'll admit I don't care for the kissing and sexual innuendo discussion carried out by the homosexual characters on the show. But homosexuality present in homes, schools, and profession and all of its sexual innuendo is in fact "real" too, no?

My favorite show though is the American version of the hit Australian show, Secret and Lies. And Season 1's end just blew me away. Never saw that coming. But again... that child killer was in a sense (that they do occur) "realism."

In TV a lot of the "realism" or semi-realism or at least the degree of "realism" today in TV scripts and acting would not have occurred many decades ago in the 1940s or 1950s.

The again... Shakespearean plays were a kind of realism on the stages, weren't they? At least in that they shined light into the human condition. At least some aspect of the human condition.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by 3uGH7D4MLj » October 8th, 2015, 5:05 pm

Greta wrote:
Ecurb wrote:If societies change, is that healthy, or does it mean the society has "failed"?
I thought that was the idea of the OP - how changes in art may associate with upswings and downturns. For instance, it was noted that hemlines rose and fell along with economic prosperity http://womenshistorynetwork.org/blog/?p=2804.
The article isn't very convincing. The postwar prosperity hemlines shown are not that much different from the depression styles.

I'm interested in the hemline idea though. From listening to my seamstress Mother, in the 50s the styles were monolithic. If the hemlines changed, almost everyone was affected. Now people are much less manipulated by style dictates from above.
fair to say

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Greta » October 8th, 2015, 10:00 pm

3uGH7D4MLj wrote:
Greta wrote:I thought that was the idea of the OP - how changes in art may associate with upswings and downturns. For instance, it was noted that hemlines rose and fell along with economic prosperity http://womenshistorynetwork.org/blog/?p=2804.
The article isn't very convincing. The postwar prosperity hemlines shown are not that much different from the depression styles.

I'm interested in the hemline idea though. From listening to my seamstress Mother, in the 50s the styles were monolithic. If the hemlines changed, almost everyone was affected. Now people are much less manipulated by style dictates from above.
Fair point. It seems to me that it was a temporary effect at best. Earlier on we talked about the increasing pluralism of globally connected and multicultural societies. You would imagine that after this flurry of novel integration between cultures there will again come a tendency to homogenise - but this time in the global arena rather than just national or regional norming.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » October 9th, 2015, 3:25 am

Now people are much less manipulated by style dictates from above.
This also is a trend that might or might not indicate attitude. In the case of individualism in how one presents oneself to others, the attitude that the individual should be free to be an individual, and not enmeshed in some conformity or other sometimes invades street styles, but it's a weak force compared with the greater need to conform.

Fashion can't be avant garde because it's so much dictated by commercial interests today. In the past fashion was dictated by power displays by individuals or consortia such as military officers, aristocrats, churchmen, and their womenfolk.

Fashion in interior decoration is largely dictated by how much money someone has to spend on innovations. Even the present fashion for minimalism dictates throwing out clutter and that very clutter may be composed of future desirables.

The answer to the OP involves defining which art form and which artist we are talking about. There are accomplished craftsmen artists who are sufficiently nonconformist with commerce or personal power to aim to tell the truth. They have to choose, like Spinoza, to remain poor.
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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Rkoster » February 3rd, 2016, 9:48 pm

In response to stating that abstract art has only been around for 100 years; I will point out that if you're speaking about the abstracting of art from the objective to the subjective then yes, I'll agree. But settings and figures were abstracted in the Gothic Era. Abstraction in art comes in many forms.

To discuss the main question at hand, when society falls upon realism to express the world in which we live, it shows a sign of complacency. It does not question, it only tries to control. It also feeds into keeping the masses intellect down. They buy into thinking valuable art is all from face value and simple concepts. There's too much mediocrity in the world.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Grunth » February 8th, 2016, 11:24 pm

Abstract art and realism art is existing in the same world. This one.

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Re: Does Realism in art always end with a society falling?

Post by Belinda » February 9th, 2016, 6:59 am

Rkoster wrote:

To discuss the main question at hand, when society falls upon realism to express the world in which we live, it shows a sign of complacency. It does not question, it only tries to control. It also feeds into keeping the masses intellect down. They buy into thinking valuable art is all from face value and simple concepts. There's too much mediocrity in the world.
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If complacency is present in an art work I agree. I'd say that complacency marks an art work as less desirable, less beautiful and less true.

I have this problem though. Although I feel that I can detect complacency in any art work from a pop song to a novel I cannot easily define 'realism in art'. For instance don't the realistic flowers painted meticulously by an accomplished botanical illustrator display beauty and truth and have nothing to do with complacency? Or e.g. Leonardo's anatomical or engineering drawings.

Realism when it is allied to complacency is about the message that the artist wants to communicate. So the botanical illustrator's flowers are realistic but not complacent. Religious art can be amazingly static in its intended message. The great medieval cathedrals are beautiful but are not beautiful simply because they can induce religious feelings but because of their forms which are real in the engineering sense, i.e. fitness for purpose, and beautiful because they manifest fitness for purpose in the medium of stones reaching skyward, they are saved from complacency because of the excellence of their forms.
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