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I have been thinking about landscape painting in terms of the three types of figurative painting portraiture, still life and  landscape.


It occurs to me that there has not been great landscape painting since Monet, Cezanne and Vincent van Gogh.


Picasso and Matisse worked mainly in portraiture and still life. Why not landscape? I think it´s because the achievements  of the great landscape painters I mentioned above could not be surpassed. It is as though landscape as a medium reached a crescendo with these Artists.

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I would argue that the so called avant-garde has been institutionalized and is in fact the new salon Art.

It is fawned over and promoted by a small circle of critics, curators and art institutions.

Tell me has there ever been a instance in the history of Art where a critic or institution got it right.

Doubtless there were critics who fawned over the academic art of the old salon. Where are they, and the Art they fawned over, gone.

I have no doubt the same fate awaits the new salon.

Anytime I read a review of a abstract Artists work it´s inevitable focus is on how the Artist treats the surface of the work. It feels as through this is the last bastion of abstract Art. A kind of surface fetishism.


As a digital Artist there is no surface. The Art I do is native to the internet and the electronic devices on which it is viewed. What you see is what you get.


The obsession with surface probably originated with Clement Greenburg. The high priest of formalism who during the 1950´s decided what is, and what is not Art.


this brings me back to surface.

One concept of Greenberg stays with me. He thought Art should be optical. I don´t know what that means exactly and I am not sure he did either, but I like the idea

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© 2019 Robin Roy.