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Monday, September 29, 2008

the seasons of art

A small group tour through Here is Every, a exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York. 40 years of modern art is the subtitle, so I ran to it, writing a book on the last 50 years of seasonality in timeframes. And found more than enough new evidence for my theory. Some artists even used phrases that fit my theory exactly, ranging from the 'personal growth for all' cultural summer (1971-1977), during which Bruce Nauman made a piece that pictures the oval circles of the world, combined with a text line like: "the need within me to stretch myself to a certain point". Yes, Bruce, that's a good summer-quote! But after everyone is stretching themselves, we enter eachother's 'bubble' and that leads to polarization and cultural autumn. At the end of the seventies, a lot of artist become insecure, making art that's not finished, that's partly not visible, and has, more often than not, (symbolic) death as a theme. The despair of autumn, you might call it, with it's sense of memento mori. Victor Grippo's work in the 1980s is a nice example, if you can read the text (will grow bigger if you click on it).. Eighties art is either rather reflective, introvert, or 'poppy', just like cultural winter predicts. And then, yes, really, things open up again and artist find new techniques, dive deeply into interactive art and a new optimism. But then it's the nineties and cultural spring again. Ah well, you will understand once you've read the book. Have patience and faith.

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