Friday, August 12, 2011

Dr James Fox

If you do a programme on British Masters (Art) for Television and you take the nettle in your hand, you are bound to get stung. So here’s another one from me Dr James. Like all the great and good you stick your neck out.

On BBC 4 recently, Dr James actually said that the Art of Alma Tadema was bad Art. He inferred that what was to come in 1910 by others was good Art and everything before it was bad. A slight over simplification but that was the message.

It is my view that it can be badly painted or sculpted; subject matter be questioned; the message it sends is wrong; and for a host of reasons express an opinion that one dislikes it; but to say it is bad art must infer that you have the correct view on what art is. Oh dear….

The bad one he chose as illustration was this one by the way. I don’t like it but would never dare say it was bad, that would be arrogant Dr Fox.

(and anyway, wasn't Alma T Dutch?)



Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting post.


12:38 pm  
Blogger Minnie said...

'Imply', surely. A common mistake. Just like yours, mistaking an opinion - however well-informed and deeply thought-out - for a totalitarian diktat on matters of taste.
And, after all, isn't Dr Fox as welcome to his opinions as anyone?

7:22 pm  
Blogger Robert said...

Minnie, welcome and thank you, perhaps you are right.Hope you will expose your profile so we can can converse in open terms!

Of course it is more than a year ago that I made this post but from memory; no he reasoned it out, infer is the right word, he argued his case. I do not think I misunderstood his message, and he came across not presenting the subjects for us to judge for ourselves but dictating what we should believe.

Taste is the murder of Art is it not? As for Dr Fox's rights to opinion, well no more than anyone else! He held the floor on the BBC and I was responding to him the only way I can!

The trouble is too many people have attacked the previous era and praised what follows. What counts surely is the test of time. Amazing some people still like Michelangelo, still listen to the ‘spin doctors’ on him!

10:16 am  

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