Robert Williams Comments on Conceptual RealismJuxtapoz // Sunday, 17 Jan 2010
Applying Realistic Art to Conceptualism – A Statement of Intent
For many years modern artists have intended to create paintings that fit into the understood explanation of conceptual art, and not all of it has simply been pop art. However, the majority of modern paintings have tried to slip under the safe recognized title of “pop.” Although pop has been the most obvious refuge, there are some real problems with this idiom. Pop art needs, and totally depends on appropriation – copying something popular. The need to reference itself back to the population’s common favoritisms encumbers art’s ability to experience the entire spectrum of the hypothetical. In other words, it’s very limited. Copying, or just recreating an object in a larger size suggests an atrophied imagination.
With the exception of pop art, there is a problem with the acceptance of realistic fine art painting into the formal art world of conceptualism. Basically it’s the contemporary art world’s hatred of craftsmanship. Facie dexterity has been frowned on and discouraged for almost sixty years. At best, it has been classified as the quaint expression of a hobbyist, more suited in the quest for a blue ribbon at a county fair. Unfortunately, because of many artists who have timidly restrained their imaginations this dim view has proven justified.
Acceptable or not, craftsmanship and the ability to draw and paint without the aid of computer or photography is a positive human compulsion, and is just as valid a virtuosity as singing with a beautiful voice, or a piano concerto played with nimble fingers. All representational painting shoud not be categorized with sentimental and innocuous works that placate the requirements of modest morality, something on the order of eyewash.
A well executed oil painting with intelligent purpose should not find itself the exclusive trappings of the interior decorator of the sanctimonious moralist espousing public and family values.
Te key word is supposition, It must be suggested that art inspired by over-imagination, rendered in precise clarity, and compelled to masquerade as conceptual art can only flourish if it represents itself honestly in the service of the purely hypothetical.
Robert Williams’ Conceptual Realism in the Service of the Hypothetical will open on February 20 and continue through April 3, 2010 at California State University Northridge.