I recently read a BBC news article by Will Gompertz and it made me want to stand up and cheer for figurative art, for painting, and for the landscape. Enjoy a few of my favorite excerpts below or read the full text here.
David Hockney thinks that over his lifetime art has become "less". He blames the art establishment (museums, galleries, art schools) for becoming over-enamoured with conceptual art: "It gave up on images a bit" the artist laments. By which he means that the artworld ignored figurative art: paintings, sculptures, videos and installations that aim to represent the known world: the sort of work Hockney makes: landscapes, portraits and still lifes.
Instead he feels, museums and galleries have jumped too willingly into the unmade bed of conceptual art where lights go on and off in a game of philosophical riddles. But Hockney says "the power is with images", and in neglecting them the artworld has diminished the very thing it aimed to protect: art.
"But they're wrong," he told me. "A camera cannot see what a human can see, there is always something missing." He talks about the inability of a camera to reproduce a sense of space and volume.
He makes the point that a photograph documents only a split second in time. Whereas a landscape painting, portrait or still life might appear to be a moment immortalised in a single image, but it is in fact the culmination of days, weeks and in the case of many artists (Cezanne, Monet, Van Gogh, Gauguin and Hockney), years of looking at a single subject.
It is a result of vast quantities of stored information, experience, jottings and spatial sensitivity that has eventually appeared in the colours, composition and atmosphere of a final finished artwork.
When people told him that the "landscape genre was worn out" he thought it illogical. "The way of looking at it [the landscape] might be worn out, but the landscape can't be," he said. "It needs re-looking at…[to] look at it afresh."