Wednesday, January 25, 2017
The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, (445 N Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 32789) hosted a documentary film series at lunch times once every few weeks about Art. This particular screening was about Ugly Beauty. Art critic Waldemar Januszczak argued that beauty is still to be found in modern art. Modern artist Damien Hurst made headlines and tons of money selling a great white shark in a glass case full of formaldehyde to a wealthy stock broker in the 1980's. This was considered ugly and tasteless by many. Waldemar pointed out that such art depicting death have occurred throughout art history. In the sketch depicted a still life done by Rembrandt of a cow carcass.
Has beauty disappeared from modern art? Several influential modern thinkers insist that it has. And this belief has inspired them to publish a clutch of recent books which claim that modern art is no longer capable of capturing true beauty: that beauty has gone from art. Art critic Waldemar Januszczak fiercely disagreed, believing that great art is as interested in beauty as ever.
Beauty in modern art often has to do with the sterile and pristine open spaces where the art is exhibited. The museum itself becomes the source of calming reflection instead of the art. The world today needs beauty more than it has ever needed it, and modern art is one of its few suppliers.