Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Occasional Art Piece: Malevich's Black Square

By Delirium in Culture
Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:08:55 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Kasimir Malevich's Black Square is simply what its title claims: a black square painted on a white background. While something of that sort might raise few eyebrows today (especially in a modern art museum), in 1915 it was a bit unusual for a centerpiece of a major exhibition.


Malevich unveiled the Black Square in 1915 as the first example of a new style of art he dubbed Suprematism. As was characteristic of Russian avant-garde artists in the early 20th century, he wrote numerous manifestos to give a philosophical basis for his art. In these, he argued that art should be a reflection or abstration of thoughts, feelings, and ideas, rather than of physical objects. To achieve this, he made a complete break with representational art and began with as simple a composition as he could conceive: a single shape with black and white as the only colors. Thereafter his works became somewhat more complex, though still following the same theme. Amongst his many other Suprematist works (most of which were titled simply Suprematism), some of note are: Suprematism (with Blue Triangle and Black Rectangle) (1915), Suprematism (with Eight Red Rectangles) (1915), Red Square (1915), Suprematism (1917-18), and Suprematism (1921-27).

The Russian Avant-Garde

Suprematism was heavily influenced by (and itself influenced) several other avant-garde movements of the period. Constructivism was just beginning to take hold at the time; this philosophy (simplified immensely) advocates focusing on fundamental building blocks of artistic works rather than coherent wholes. Thus Constructivist poetry, which became quite popular during the 1920s in Russia, viewed words as entities in themselves (important qualities include how they look when written, how they sound out loud, and so on) rather than merely as placeholders for their definitions, and thus poems as collections of these building blocks. Following a similar vein, Suprematism focuses on shapes and colors in themselves, rather than using them solely to depict more familiar objects.

Cubism was also enormously popular at the time, and Malevich himself had done some Cubist paintings. Clearly the geometric shapes of Suprematism bear a striking resemblance to Cubism, and the overall aesthetic sense probably owes quite a bit to the Cubists, but the process has been changed in an important respect: whereas Cubism takes a physical object and breaks it down, sometimes so it is no longer recognizable, Suprematism takes an idea or feeling and build up an artistic representation of it from simple forms and colors.

The 1917 Revolution

The Russian avant-garde, with its view of itself as a revolutionary and ultra-modern movement, formed a natural fit in many ways with the Bolsheviks behind the 1917 Russian revolution. Many of their manifestos, such as the 1913 "Slap in the Face of Public Taste", are even similar to Communist manifestos in writing style, and their rejection of previous styles of art meshed well with the Bolsheviks' distrust of anything dating to much before the revolution as potentially bourgeois or even Tsarist.

Along with the Futurists, who based their view of art on an almost fanatical love for the aesthetics of technology (which in the early 20th century meant being enamored with noise, machinery, smoke, and all the other trappings of a nascent industrial society), they would become the artists of choice in 1920s Russia. Malevich himself displayed little interest in politics, but saw the building of a new social order as a good opportunity for his artistic vision, and drew up gradiose plans of entire cities organized on Suprematist principles (which were of course never realized).

However, the rise of Stalin to power led to the destruction of avant-garde experimentation beginning in the late 1920s. After abandoning his Suprematist style for more Cubist works through the 1920s, he created a final version of the Black Square (the fourth in total) in 1929. It is similar to the first, but the square is much more uniformly pure black and painted with thicker coats of paint. Thereafter he tried his hand at more realistic representational works to satisfy the dictates of Stalin's Socialist Realism, but fell out of favor and died in poverty in 1935.

This Is Art?

Of course, the obvious reply to all this is "well, but it's still just a black square on a canvas; how is that art?" That's a question a bit beyond the scope of this article, but in any case, a trip to any modern art museum should make clear that Malevich's Black Square has at the very least been enormously influential.

Additional Resources

The links to images of Malevich's works here all come from the Malevich page at the Russian Avant-Garde Gallery, which has an extensive chronological listing of many of his other works (also with images).

The Artchive page on Malevich has some additional images.

Some class project at USC has a page with images of a few assorted Suprematist works from Malevich and others.

Mayakovsky.com has a ton of information on the Constructivist and Futurist poet (one of the authors of the "Slap in the Face of Public Taste" mentioned earlier), including some of his poetry.

--

This is the third in a series focusing on particular important works of art in their historical and artistic context (it used to be called "Art Piece of the Week," but the new name is a bit more accurate). The previous two if you missed them: Cycladic Lyre Player and Magritte's L'Empire des lumičres.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Black Square
o Suprematis m (with Blue Triangle and Black Rectangle)
o Suprematis m (with Eight Red Rectangles)
o Red Square
o Suprematis m
o Suprematis m [2]
o "Slap in the Face of Public Taste"
o final version of the Black Square
o Malevich page
o Russian Avant-Garde Gallery
o Artchive
o page on Malevich
o a page
o Mayakovsky .com
o Cycladic Lyre Player
o Magritte's L'Empire des lumičres
o Also by Delirium


Display: Sort:
Occasional Art Piece: Malevich's Black Square | 103 comments (101 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
"Art is what you can get away with" - An (3.91 / 12) (#1)
by Demiurge on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:13:57 AM EST



Art is what you can justify in manifestos. (4.00 / 6) (#6)
by B M on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:57:15 AM EST



[ Parent ]
True, even today. (3.00 / 2) (#9)
by pathetic on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 09:12:51 AM EST

The point of modern art is that it's not the artwork, it's how you explain it. A lot of people don't understand this.

[ Parent ]
Not Really (3.00 / 2) (#13)
by dteeuwen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:11:08 PM EST

That was definitely true about 15 years ago, but art is changing and there has been a real w\swing back towards the representative. Art without meaning got pretty boring, so even the old works are having new meaning attached to them. How you explain it can help, and validate the weakest pieces, but time seems to do away with the detritus.

_________

Down the slopes of death he rides
The eight hooves pound like drums
Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
Invasion has begun


[ Parent ]

The problem with that (3.00 / 2) (#28)
by losthalo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:11:23 PM EST

is that there are a great, great many artists today using the method of "implied content" to get attention from the postmodern-centric art world, without the implications of their work being genuine self-expression.  They toss some icons and imagery out there that they know will get reactions, and let others create the "background" for the piece for them, or else they create rationalizations for the work after the fact to make it politically relevant.

And I would love to see some info on the art world turning back to more representational work and taking technically solid work seriously once again.  It would be very encouraging.

(Losthalo)

"Painting is never difficult.  It's either easy, or it's impossible."  
(Dali)

[ Parent ]

Why? (none / 0) (#49)
by phliar on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:45:20 PM EST

You make some surprising statements:
let others create the "background" for the piece for them...

... the art world turning back to more representational work and taking technically solid work seriously once again. It would be very encouraging.

I don't feel this, or see why you feel this, at all. I suppose there is the usual "good" vs. "bad" art, but the distinction is not as simple as you imply. There's also an implication in your message that current (or post-modern, or whatever) artists do not have the skill their medium requires to make something that is representational. This is totally false. For instance, I have a book of a lot of Mondrian's work; his early work of groups of trees etc. is as "pretty" and "technically solid" as you could wish, and you can see his progression from that to his abstract forms of block-coloured lines and rectangles. Also, every artist I know personally has a very solid grasp on the medium.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Well... (none / 0) (#62)
by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 08:21:04 PM EST

There's also an implication in your message that current (or post-modern, or whatever) artists do not have the skill their medium requires to make something that is representational.

Not at all. Some do have the skill, others do not. I'm judging the artists I'm judging in that comment based on the degree of sincerity I see in their work, nothing more. Representation is not the end-all be-all, by any means.
And, despite your experience, I've seen a number of photographers, painters, printmakers, etc. who all did not have a solid grasp of their medium. I've seen plenty of work where the only skill involved was pasting things together with glue or epoxy, and compositional ability was truly lacking.

And don't forget, 90% of everything is crap.

(Losthalo)

Before enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood. After enlightenment, one carries water and chops wood.

[ Parent ]
'Conceptual', rather than 'representative' (none / 0) (#85)
by Homburg on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 02:08:41 PM EST

I'd agree with you that there's been a swing against abstract art since the sixties, but has there been a swing towards representative art (in the sense of pictures of things)? I think most of todays post-abstract art would be better described as 'conceptual'. Unlike abstract art, conceptual art is about content, rather than form, but unlike representative art, the content is communicated in some manner other than representation. Damien Hirst's 'The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone still living' is a representation of a shark (hell, it is a shark), but it's content isn't 'a shark', but something more complex.

This isn't to say that representational art is just pretty pictures: it has both a sense (i.e., what it's about) and a denotation (what it's of), as well. But conceptual art emphasises the sense, whereas representational art emphasises the denotation.

[ Parent ]

Poppycock! (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:33:58 PM EST

The point of modern art is that it's not the artwork, it's how you explain it.

This sort of sentiment sums up perfectly why most art is completely lost on most people.

Convinced that it could not possibly be that the understanding of some things is contingent on developing the faculty to appreciate them first, we rush to the conclusion that we are simply paying attention to the wrong part.

I'm not singling out the parent poster -- this is a common fallacy, especially among bright people, who seem offended when it is suggested that they might not "get" something.

(Please note: do not interpret this to mean that I therefore believe that all modern art is great. Far from it. Just because the artistic establishment is in love with something don't make it divine.)


The opinions expressed in the comments above are not those of the author; they have been rented for the occasion of this writing from a neutral third party.<
[ Parent ]
I disagree (4.00 / 8) (#18)
by epepke on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:41:10 PM EST

The point of modern art is that it's not the artwork, it's how you explain it.

This sort of sentiment sums up perfectly why most art is completely lost on most people.

No, not really. I think there is value to things like Black Square, and I'm a big fan of Jackson Pollack. I like it, and it isn't lost on me. I even started to write a rebuttal about, however much you might denigrate a black square on a white canvas, actually standing in front of it is a quite different experience from thinking about how it might look. (I've never done that with this piece, but I've done it with many pieces that people consider similarly silly, and there is [sometimes] something there.)

However, if you actually know more than half a dozen artists or ever actually attend art openings then you would know that the "artists' statement" is the center of a little artistic maelstrom all its own and in many instances overshadows the art itself.

People have pointed out that before Andy Warhol did his stuff, art was stuck, and he pushed art in the only direction that it could really go at the time. Which is true. So, now, art is going in a different direction: installations, not just for a glance by a single observer, but creating a social space. And why not? Does the fact that people talk about, say, Lord of the Rings, make it a worse book? And why can't or shouldn't art be about the social anthropology that surrounds it?

Ever been to a classical concert where everyone is stiff and silent and knows that it's a horrible gaffe to applaud between movements? Compare that to a cozy jazz club where the communication goes both ways and the music lives in the whole space. There's something valuable in the jazz club that isn't in the concert hall (or on the jazz CD), and at least in part, modern art is about that.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Re: Artists' Statements (4.00 / 4) (#29)
by losthalo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:21:18 PM EST

I'm rather fond of statements which try to give some context on the artist (in case you are new to their work) or which provide some context for the work at hand.  However, artists' statements are very often used to explain work to the "uninitiated", or to make work make sense (which otherwise is meaningless).  

Many pieces of visual art which are accompanied by an artist's statement rely on the statement to the degree that the statement is really a part of the piece.  Such work should, ideally, be listed as: "oil on canvas and accompanying text" like a multimedia piece, rather than being treated as a more traditional oil painting.

To a great degree this stems from the postmodern desire to treat everything as a "text" (i.e. it's meaning can be distilled down to a "message" that can be described or spoken).  This hurts the visual arts, since they quite often communicate in ways which are, if not impossible in written media, much more difficult.  Artist's statements are often taken as a translation of the work they accompany, which is deadly to some visual art.

(Losthalo)

"The reason I don't argue in 'sociopolitical' terms is that I want to produce a picture and not an ideology.  It's always its factuality, and not its ideology, that makes a picture good."  
(Gerhard Richter)

[ Parent ]

Uhhm (3.50 / 3) (#44)
by Rainy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:56:59 AM EST

How does this "hurt" the visual arts? I can see how burning the Louvre would hurt visual arts, but I can't imagine how me painting something and then attaching some text to it would hurt visual arts at large. That's as absurd as saying that this tendency contributes to literature art as a whole.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
Thus: (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:31:25 PM EST

Treating everything visual as something with a written "explanation" which can stand in its stead sells visual artwork short in much the same way that saying illustrations can tell the same story as text.  They're not the same, and diluting visual work down to being "text" hurts visual art because it limits what people will create, and what people will take in and experience.

This is not to say that all artist's statements are bad.  Rather that in many cases they are not really separate from the work they describe, are in fact a part of the work, and in many cases cannot "capture" what is in the work in any meaningful way.

(Losthalo)

"Chance favors the prepared mind."
(Louis Pasteur)

[ Parent ]

please.. (3.00 / 2) (#56)
by Rainy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 05:34:29 PM EST

By this same logic, creating a purely visual art piece you dilute mixed visual/text art and thusly hurt it. Why can't you just create something without stepping on somebody's oversensitive tail? Or, to turn it the other way, if you will step one someone's tail one way or the other, why not just create whatever you wish to create and stop worrying about all tails in the world?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
For clarity: (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 08:33:10 PM EST

1.) Treating visual work and literature as the same dilutes the power of both types of art.

2.) In many cases an artist's statement is so necessary to understand a work that it becomes a part of the work.

I think you're reading something into that comment which is not in fact there.

(Losthalo)

The beatings will continue until morale improves.

[ Parent ]
I got you (3.00 / 2) (#66)
by Rainy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:24:55 PM EST

That's how I read you, but I simply disagree that there is separate visual art and literature, there are artistic statements that we post-factum classify as belonging to one or another or something else. These classifications are not carved in stone. You can say "paintings that use black color dilute the power of all-colors-but-black paintings." And so they do. If everyone painted in all colors but black, such works would be more numerous and of higher quality than they are now. Because the next da vinci, when drawing the next talented work would have to avoid black color and his work would then improve an average quality of no-black art!

More to the point, both literary and visual works dilute the power and quality of mixed literary/visual works!

And if I'm drinking tea, I'm diluting the relative popularity of coffee.

I agree - often it may not be necessary to attach any text to a visual work. But often it may also be unnecessary to use black, or to use oil paint, or to use any colors but black and white.
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

burning the Louvre (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by dr k on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 04:23:02 AM EST

would be a great boon to the art world.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Jazz vs. Classical (4.00 / 3) (#51)
by phliar on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:09:20 PM EST

Ever been to a classical concert where everyone is stiff and silent and knows that it's a horrible gaffe to applaud between movements? Compare that to a cozy jazz club where the communication goes both ways and the music lives in the whole space.
I agree with everything you wrote except this: it's not fair to compare any musical group in a large concert hall with one in a small venue, for any music. It's not just the music either: the acoustics and crowd dynamics play a large part as well. Instead, compare chamber music performed in a small space with jazz, or compare a large orchestra with something like a large swing orchestra. I have seen wonderful communication between a string quartet and the audience, and seen just as many stiff silent people at something like the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. People are much more inhibited in large groups.

So I would add to your statement "there's something valuable in the jazz club that isn't in the concert hall" the converse, "there's something valuable in the concert hall that isn't in the jazz club." I play both classical and jazz, and the contexts and customs are different; you cannot say that one is better than the other.

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

OK, fair enough (3.00 / 2) (#52)
by epepke on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:46:21 PM EST

Yes, chamber music is more like a small Jazz ensemble.

So I would add to your statement "there's something valuable in the jazz club that isn't in the concert hall" the converse, "there's something valuable in the concert hall that isn't in the jazz club." I play both classical and jazz, and the contexts and customs are different; you cannot say that one is better than the other.

You know, some day I imagine that I will figure out how to make a comparison without having someone interpret it as a "what is better" pissing contest. Not today, though.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Me, too! (3.00 / 2) (#61)
by phliar on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 08:08:22 PM EST

... some day I imagine that I will figure out how to make a comparison without having someone interpret it as a "what is better" pissing contest.
Point taken, and when you figure it out, I'd like to know too!

Faster, faster, until the thrill of...
[ Parent ]

Then (1.83 / 6) (#20)
by RoOoBo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:13:40 PM EST

why don't just write a book or an article like anyone else and stop bothering people with such crap?

[ Parent ]
Then please explain the following: (3.00 / 2) (#34)
by Jetifi on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:48:14 PM EST

The winner of the Turner Prize 2001, Martin Creed, for a work entitled "Lights Going On and Off", described accurately enough as follows:

It was a large, entirely featureless square room in which a light went on for five seconds, then went off for five seconds and then came back on again in an endless cycle.

When asked "What's this about then?" by a curious journalist, Creed answered "Uh, I dunno really..."

Please, try and convince me that he wasn't just taking the piss...



[ Parent ]
well.. (3.50 / 3) (#43)
by Rainy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:53:20 AM EST

Imagine that someone comes up to you and says "Convince me Michelangelo is art".
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
how about skill? (3.00 / 2) (#80)
by ethereal on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:56:21 AM EST

One could clearly point out, for example, Michelangelo's technical excellence at representation, his creation of the impression of depth through color, etc., etc. A lot of what is missing from modern art is not so much a meaning (although with pieces like "Black Square" it is difficult to extract meaning without knowing the story of the artist's life at that time, but I digress); what's missing from modern art is actual craftsmanship - the sense that you couldn't just do this yourself if you'd wanted to.

Admittedly, I'm not a fan of modern art at all, and I think that's why. If I could have created "Black Square", then the only difference when Malevich did it was the construction that he put on that creation - in this case, the construction of "starting over from the basics". He's really not a visual artist at all; he's perhaps a linguist or anthropologist of visual representation, but not an artist. Granted, the guy probably can actually paint, but you couldn't tell it from modern art canvases.

I've tried to like modern art, I really have. But unless you want to invest the time to figure out what was going on in the artist's head, and thus why they think this piece of art is significant, it often means nothing to you. And meaning should be integral to the piece of art itself; it shouldn't be something that has to be tacked on via an explanatory note in the museum guide. Art with multiple possible meanings is good too, but the way to create multiple meaning is not by making the actual artwork so simple that pretty much anything goes.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

skill vs. art (none / 0) (#89)
by Rainy on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:53:40 PM EST

One may be very skillful at, for instance, kneading bread dough. You do it for 30 years, every day kneading a dozen loafs and you'll have tremendous skill.

One of the best ways to define art is, I think, to say: art is that which makes a less skillful work into touching your heart, mind, imagination more than a more skillful one.

It's a sort of an escape from a race of skill. It's not surprising that people who spend decades perfecting their skill may forget that art must not only impress us, but also move us. I sometimes find a simpler work more moving than a technically superior one. And if a person is not moved by Michelangelo, you won't ever convince them that his skill makes him an artist. That person will rightly point out that skill makes him a great artisan, perhaps, but no more.

Skill, I think, plays an auxiliary role - it tells us that if a man had so much love for his subject he spent nearly all his life learning the ways to express it, well then it's worth looking at. But it's not absolutely necessary. Haven't you ever enjoyed something perfect in simplicity?
--
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

simplicity (4.00 / 1) (#92)
by ethereal on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 02:03:28 PM EST

Haven't you ever enjoyed something perfect in simplicity?

Sure. Although perhaps not as simple as Black Square, though :)

There can be art without a lot of skill, and there can be great skill without any particular art (although normally I find that watching the work or the results of someone who is skilled usually approaches an art-like appreciation). So I suppose someone with no skill could get lucky and slap down a very artistic work. But in terms of appreciation of the work, it's hard to give the artist too much credit if it's a work that one could have done oneself.

I've seen things that were perfect in simplicity, but often that simplicity was a result of more skill in knowing what to leave out. I contend that Black Square isn't incredible art because if you saw it on the street, without knowing any of the background, you wouldn't really think of it as art at all. Its simplicity is only so powerful once you know the complex background on it.

The artwork is more than what's on the canvas, and the creator's accomplishment was not constructing four perfect right angles and flood-filling with #ffffff, but in reaching the understanding that a simple black square would make a statement in response to either the art of the time, or Soviet and historic Russian policies of the time (depending on whose explanation you believe). The actual canvas was the least part of the true art that occurred, it seems to me, and that's a big part of why modern art is so hard to appreciate.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Art is what you get 5's for. (4.00 / 4) (#37)
by Apuleius on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:28:03 PM EST

Well, maybe.


There is a time and a place for everything, and it's called college. (The South Park chef)
[ Parent ]
One cannot define art. (3.00 / 3) (#7)
by evilpenguin on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:29:18 AM EST

...?

--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]
And what's NOT art... (3.00 / 3) (#8)
by snupples on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:31:03 AM EST

It may be just as difficult to define what's NOT art. Even if the creator didn't intend something to be art, it can gain expressive meaning from a viewer later.... Who's to say that which I just left in the toilet isn't art!

[ Parent ]
It's been done. (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by CheeseburgerBrown on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:38:37 PM EST

Marcel Duchamp's Le Pissoir.


The opinions expressed in the comments above are not those of the author; they have been rented for the occasion of this writing from a neutral third party.<
[ Parent ]
nice (3.00 / 5) (#4)
by inertia on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:50:08 AM EST

ly written article. I like the style and the subject matter is intriguing. +1 FP.

Don't give too much credit to Malevich! (4.16 / 6) (#5)
by jeroenb on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:43:18 AM EST

a trip to any modern art museum should make clear that Malevich's Black Square has at the very least been enormously influential.

Although I agree Malevich's work has been very influential, this statement suggests a little too much credit for him. For instance, artists such as Kandinsky and Kupka were already heavily involved in this type of work since before 1915, like around 1910.

geometric designs (3.50 / 3) (#21)
by Delirium on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:27:42 PM EST

I agree that Kandinsky and others also were important forerunners of modern art. I was thinking in particular of the sort of modern art that consists of large canvasses painted with a few solid-color geometric shapes (the sort most likely to evoke an "I could've painted this myself; how is this art?" reaction). That sort of modern art I think traces its roots directly to Suprematism.

[ Parent ]
You are correct (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by filchyboy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 10:00:09 PM EST

Suprematism was a visual anticedant but what was being done in Suprematism is not at all the same as what was being done with AE. To conflate the two, as many have done in this space, is just wrong.

[ Parent ]
Agreed, but (3.00 / 2) (#75)
by jeroenb on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 08:55:33 AM EST

please note that I was not comparing them or claiming they are similar. I was objecting to the statement that suprematism was the inspiration of most of the stuff you see in contemporary abstract art today - AE (as you call it) was at least as much an influence of that (probably way more.)

[ Parent ]
Actually (none / 0) (#93)
by filchyboy on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 11:08:53 PM EST

IMHO Suprematism has far more to do with iconography and modern commercial art than it does with AE. So yea I agree if you use the term "abstract" but I wouldn't agree if you say simply modern or contemporary art.

[ Parent ]
but thats not what was claimed (none / 0) (#97)
by livus on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 01:10:45 AM EST

- the phrase was "been enormously influential" and didnt imply that no other art movement of the time had NOT been influential. You react as if it's a simple binary.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
true (nt) (none / 0) (#99)
by jeroenb on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 11:52:11 AM EST



[ Parent ]
The Age of Charlatans (3.58 / 17) (#10)
by IHCOYC on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 10:06:46 AM EST

In some happy and inevitable future, people will look back at this sort of thing, and they will either laugh at those who took it seriously, or weep over the time and effort wasted on them.

The twentieth century was a time when workmanship was disparaged for the sake of novelty. It was considered less honourable and less "important" to produce fine examples within the bounds of established styles than it was to get in at the beginning of the Next Big Thing.

In music, this led to the unlistenable dreck of twelve tone serialism, which was considered the only serious way to compose for the better part of fifty years; in painting, to the ponderous prose expended on the drip and blob paintings of Abstract Expressionism; in architecture, to the notorious Bauhaus box architecture of human disasters like Cabrini Green; to the use of dung as a sculptural element.

People will look back at the twentieth century and call it the Age of Charlatans. The sooner we put the curse of compulsory vanguardism behind us, the better.

Grais ingenium, Grais dedit ore rotundo
Musa loqui, præter laudem nullius auaris. . .

     --- Horace

Out with the old (3.87 / 8) (#11)
by felixrayman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:38:44 AM EST

The next time you hitch up the wagon team for your yearly trip into town, you may notice that the rest of the world has changed over the last 100 years.

Art changed because the world changed, and if you are uncomfortable with the pace with which art has changed, maybe it is because you are uncomfortable with the pace with which the world is changing.

With the invention and development of photography, the major traditional motivation for painting was destroyed. Painters as artists either had to find new ways of seeing or become craftsmen instead of artists.

You claim that twelve tone serialism was considered the only way to compose music for 50 years - this is ridiculous. Over the last century jazz was invented, blues was invented, rock, electronic music, punk, rap, etc. were all invented. Traditional orchestral music came to a dead end because it was an 18th century art form that no longer had any expressive power.

What I consider ridiculous is not the innovation and invention of artists over the last 100 years, it is the existence of artists who still practice 18th century art forms and add nothing to them.

If you want to see plays written in the style of Shakespeare, hear music written in the style of Beethoven, and see paintings done in the stlye of Rembrandt, that's fine - work like that is still (for what reason I do not know) being produced today. Personally I prefer Beckett, Coltrane and Rothko, but that's because I like all this ridiculous new art - probably just some silly fad though, right?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
Orchestral music's not dead either (3.66 / 4) (#40)
by gidds on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 09:58:22 PM EST

Traditional orchestral music came to a dead end because it was an 18th century art form that no longer had any expressive power.

This over-eggs the pudding, I think.  It's true that new `classical' music isn't entering the mainstream in the quantity it used to, but that's partly due to the explosion of other sorts of music that are available, and perhaps also partly due to the growing popularity and availability of music from older composers.

New music is still being written, though; much doesn't seem to enter the public consciousness, but contemporary `classical' composers like John Tavener, Karl Jenkins, Michael Nyman, Samuel Barber, and John Rutter are all doing rather well, and the symphony orchestra is still the de facto instrument for film scores.

Andy/
[ Parent ]

Oops....... (none / 0) (#65)
by lb008d on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:14:28 PM EST

Traditional orchestral music came to a dead end because it was an 18th century art form that no longer had any expressive power

It's amazing - with one statement you have demonstrated an incredible ignorance of an entire art form.

Contemporary music written for the symphony orchestra is alive, and people who follow current composers know just how innovative "art" music is today.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

symphony orchestra (3.00 / 1) (#73)
by dr k on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 04:13:41 AM EST

While there is still innovation within the form of symphonic music, a live orchestra is hardly the most innovative arena for music today. Nor has it been since, well, the introduction of magnetic tape.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Depends on how you define innovative (4.00 / 1) (#76)
by lb008d on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 09:39:38 AM EST

When was the last time you listened to an orchestra play something written since 1970? Answer honestly.

I play in an orchestra professionally, and have played at summer festivals that premiered music by some of the best contemporary composers today: Adams, Adès, Rouse, Harbison, Reich, Tuominen, Tower, etc etc etc.

It is impossible to keep informed of "innovations" in more than a few subgenres of music, and I'm afraid that your statement indicates that you haven't listened much to contemporary orchestral music.

"Kuro5hin: politics and pretension, from the $3,000 leather recliners on the hill overlooking the trenches."DarkZero
[ Parent ]

I try to attend new music concerts (3.00 / 1) (#87)
by dr k on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 06:18:47 PM EST

several times a year. A good 75% of the new pieces performed are simply through composed jazz, as that is the kind of stuff emphasized by most West Coast college programs.

While masterful instrumental performance is to be admired, there is little in the history of European music to suggest that innovative music is most likely to be discovered within the symphonic format, viz the inclusion of valved brass instruments in the early Romantic era, &c. So while Adams et al may be innovative within their self-constrained formats, true sound innovation is 16 bits these days.


Destroy all trusted users!
[ Parent ]

Who other than yourself. (2.00 / 1) (#88)
by felixrayman on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 08:23:17 PM EST

people who follow current composers know just how innovative "art" music is today.

So.....both of them know?

Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

[ Parent ]
I can't resist the urge (4.36 / 11) (#12)
by calimehtar on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:01:10 PM EST

If you really think that nothing of significant was accomplished by artists in the 20th century you need to go back to school

Some Bauhaus archictecture may have been disastrous aesthetically, but the Bauhaus style has been picked up by popular culture (see 2001 A Space Odyssee which made effective use of contemporary furniture and architecture to create a believable if bleak world of the near future), and by designers and architects of today. You may not like IKEA, but millions of other consumers do, and IKEA owes almost everything to the Bauhaus.

Dung used in sculpture is hardly a novelty. In some African societies dung is the the foundation for just about everything, from sculpture, to mask making to construction,

The 20th century may not compare favourably with the entire scope of human creativity, but that's hardly a fair comparison. Try comparing the 20th to the 18th century for example. The 18th century, among the worst in my opinion, boast such works as Titian's Venus of Urbino and Watteau's kitchy scenes and frothy landscapes.

The 20th Century was a radical departure from past century's strict artistic conformance. For this we can thank artists like Malevich who were willing to consider how far art could be taken. So yes, much of the art of the 20th Century was done for novelty's sake. But there is still plenty that is aesthetically appealing from the last century. It's a matter of personal taste of course, but I find Brancusi's Bird in Space to be very appealing, as well as work by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and the Bauhaus. And this is just to cite work from the same period and in a similar style to Malevich.



[ Parent ]
Titian. . . (3.50 / 4) (#36)
by IHCOYC on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:20:22 PM EST

. . . may have just been painting for the back wall of the Pope's favourite saloon, but that work still required some skill at draughtsmanship, something more than the use of a straightedge and a carpenter's square.

What seems to make the 20th century different is the contempt of the sophisticate for the mass audience. The most listenable concert music of the 20th Century was written mostly by Soviet composers, largely because the Communist bureaucrats who paid their salaries insisted that the People were paying for accessible and listenable music, not arid experiments in angular and jarring noise. We may make fun of their oppressive campaigns against "formalism," but at least the Soviet composers had some kind of feedback from outside the world of academia and the artsy set.

This feedback is what is lacked. To be obliged to be on the vanguard of something, anything, is to turn your back on your audience, trusting that you've gambled wisely and that you will go into the books as an Innovator. Once an audience exists for a novelty of style, it becomes uncool and passé; time to move on. High art is broken because it has constructed an ideological barrier against receiving feedback from outside the charmed circle. Those who seek it are 'pandering' to an actual audience, they have abandoned the austere moral rigour required of those on the cutting edge. This charged language is itself an indication that something is seriously wrong.

Grais ingenium, Grais dedit ore rotundo
Musa loqui, præter laudem nullius auaris. . .

     --- Horace
[ Parent ]

three salient points (none / 0) (#79)
by adequate nathan on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:51:18 AM EST

  • Wozzeck is the greatest opera of the XXth century.
  • By writing Verklärte Nacht, Schoenberg earned the right to my respect for all his future artistic endeavours.
  • You eat mud.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

  • Au Contraire: Consider Pollock (3.50 / 3) (#16)
    by CheeseburgerBrown on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 12:43:33 PM EST

    ...in painting, to the ponderous prose expended on the drip and blob paintings of Abstract Expressionism...

    As described in this article there are layers of interconnected fractals in Pollock's work, which double-blind studies suggest people are irresistibly attracted to. The test subjects were not fooled by fake Pollocks -- they failed to inspire the same effect.

    ...Which shows how there are many things in art that may have merit, even if you (or anyone) can't explain why.


    The opinions expressed in the comments above are not those of the author; they have been rented for the occasion of this writing from a neutral third party.<
    [ Parent ]
    What Do You know About Art? (2.50 / 3) (#22)
    by dteeuwen on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 02:53:49 PM EST

    I mean, really. So many kitchens, so little time.

    _________

    Down the slopes of death he rides
    The eight hooves pound like drums
    Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
    Invasion has begun


    [ Parent ]

    When Art Attacks (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by CheeseburgerBrown on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 02:28:05 PM EST

    Don't make fun, dude. I was once attacked by art, and the most important thing I took away from that experience is knowing that it is not the fault of the victim, so matter what the circumstances might be.

    When will you extreme right-wing fanatical hippies ever understand that?


    The opinions expressed in the comments above are not those of the author; they have been rented for the occasion of this writing from a neutral third party.<
    [ Parent ]
    You Militant Freaks!! (none / 0) (#50)
    by dteeuwen on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:01:43 PM EST

    What's next? Painting a replica of that Napoleon painting where he's so much bigger than the horse, but with Bush in the saddle? Will you never learn?

    Look, don't touch, that's the secret.

    _________

    Down the slopes of death he rides
    The eight hooves pound like drums
    Darkness reigns the crumbling sky
    Invasion has begun


    [ Parent ]

    Explaining (3.14 / 7) (#17)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:19:01 PM EST

    'Art' that has an explanation or a manifesto supporting it is either a work of a charlatan or somebody who is not fully in touch with her media. I would even go as far as saying that naming your artworks for any other reason than cataloging purposes breaks this rule.

    OTOH, I might give an excuse in some cases where the explanation/manifesto itself becomes part of the art. But a manifesto full of hubris accompanying a goddam black square on white background does not excuse itself. It is just indicative of the intellectual poverty of the 'artist' (or the era?).

    Disclaimer: I find most (but not all) abstract art to be of the above description. I have no formal education in art but some of my photography has been peer-reviewed very favorably by people whose work I admire very much.

    --
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
    -- George Orwell


    Dali (3.00 / 1) (#64)
    by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 08:45:14 PM EST

    I think Salvadore Dali's work was neither an act of charlatanry, nor was he out of touch with his medium.

    There were a number of manifestoes and announcements from the Surrealist artists.

    And I'm sure your photographs are very nice.

    (Losthalo)

    "Art is that which is not not-art."
    (Brian Harmon)

    [ Parent ]

    You have no idea (none / 0) (#69)
    by filchyboy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 10:03:41 PM EST

    what you are talking about. Please see my subsequent reply to the orginal article.

    [ Parent ]
    Ah (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by MotorMachineMercenary on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:23:32 AM EST

    Thank you for the very informative account on how and where the black square was supposed to be hung. I wish the original poster of the story would've mentioned this. After your description I have to agree with you that the black square is in fact one of the most brilliant modern artworks around.

    Nevertheless, if viewed on its own (in the context the original poster portrayed it) it is crap. I'm not claiming art should be observed as if in a vacuum, but the way the original poster was talking about it didn't give due credit to the intricacies of its placement in a typical Russian home nor to the political significance of that. But this is a perfect example of what I was talking about in my root post when I said sometimes the explanation/manifesto behind the artwork itself becomes part of the art.

    Thank you again; I'm compelled to find more about this subject.

    --
    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
    -- George Orwell


    [ Parent ]
    "Art" and public taste have bifurcated (4.28 / 7) (#19)
    by Bora Horza Gobuchol on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 01:50:51 PM EST

    The problem is that the general public's perception of what is "art" became flash-frozen some 100 years ago. The abstract impressionists sounded the death-knell for "public art", and it is my impression that the majority of modern art is done to impress society patrons, galleries, and other artists.

    If you were able to take a poll in Rome 500 years ago I suspect that most everyone would agree that what they saw around them - the public works of Michelangelo, da Vinci, Donatello - were inspiring art (albeit inspired by and paid for the Church, for the most part). Now wander the downtown of any major metropolitan city and take the same poll. How many of the public believe that the abstract Moore sculpture sitting on a street corner qualifies as art, much less inspiring?

    To be clear - I'm not suggesting that all modern art is bad. But there is a chasm between the public's and patron's views of what qualifies as "art".



    -- "Don't criticise. Create a better alternative."
    Same as it ever was (4.00 / 4) (#24)
    by felixrayman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:29:46 PM EST

    There has always been tension between the public and artists, it is nothing new. You mention Michelangelo - his painting of the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel was met with strong criticism when it was first painted. It was regarded as pornographic and parts of it were painted over.

    The Impressionist painters whose works seem bland enough now to be on greeting cards were initially met with strong criticism, the word impressionism itself was coined in a derogatory review of one of their shows. Both the Eiffel tower and the Sydney Opera House were initially regarded as abominations by the inhabitants of the cities in which they were built - try tearing them down now.

    Some peices of art that are regarded as trash now will be looked on as masterpieces 500 years from now, and vice versa. And of course some pieces of art that are regarded as trash now always will be.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    Perhaps I was being unclear... (3.00 / 2) (#27)
    by Bora Horza Gobuchol on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:28:29 PM EST

    First - you are incorrect on the issue on nudity in The Last Judgment. Yes, Michelangelo's work was criticized when it was unveiled (by Monsignor Biaggio Da Casena, in particular - Michelangelo got his eternal revenge on him by painting the Monsignor as one of the demons in hell.) But this criticism was from conservative elements within the Church, not the public at large, rather like the objections to the Impressionists in the Salon. The Last Judgment wasn't painted over at the orders of the current Pope, but at a later period, under a more puritanical leadership. Nudity in art at that time was not regarded as sinful, in part because the artists were taking direct inspiration from their Roman forbearers (see Michelangelo's David, etc.)

    My point was that even if the purpose of art is to force new ways of seeing, and is therefore controversial in its time, what the public regards as art can be quite different. To use your own example - yes, you see Impressionists on greeting cards today. But you don't see Jackson Pollock's "Eyes In The Heat", which is more than 50 years old.

    I agree with you - public tastes change. But the general public's definition of what is "art" seems to stop around the time that the Impressionists emerge. Will that advance with time? Perhaps, but at a slowing rate, I suspect. In 300 years, you might see a Pollock in every room... but Michelangelo was recognized as a great artist in his own time. That is simply not happening any more, most likely for the reasons I gave in my earlier post.



    -- "Don't criticise. Create a better alternative."
    [ Parent ]
    great modern artists (3.75 / 4) (#30)
    by felixrayman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 05:25:54 PM EST

    But this criticism was from conservative elements within the Church, not the public at large

    And this is different from most recent modern art debacles how exactly?

    But the general public's definition of what is "art" seems to stop around the time that the Impressionists emerge.

    I disagree with this. Some movements and artists since Impressionism are known and loved by the public ( Surrealism, Pop Art ) some are tolerated ( Abstract Expressionism ) some are ridiculed ( Minimalism ) and some are ignored ( Postmodernism ). Pollock's paintings may not be common on greeting cards but in the 1950s IIRC some fashion designer came out with prints for clothes based on his paintings.

    I suspect. In 300 years, you might see a Pollock in every room... but Michelangelo was recognized as a great artist in his own time. That is simply not happening any more

    I can think of quite a few modern artists who became famous during their own lives over the last 100 years - Picasso, Dali, Warhol, etc.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    sickening depravity (2.66 / 4) (#42)
    by parasite on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:45:33 AM EST

    And with good reason -- how ever "ignorant" the
    general public may be, they will never fall
    completely to the level of absolute philosophical
    depravity that our modern 'intelligencia' openly
    embraces.

    "Deconstruction is the profoundly
    anti-intellectual notion -- promulgated, of
    course, by the intellectuals -- that every idea
    is just a smokescreen for some hidden agenda,
    that ideas must be "deconstructed," distorted and
    quarantined within an attitude of snide irony.
    Deconstruction is the philosophy of undermining
    every truth, every moral ideal, every intellectual
    or artistic standard, by turning it into a
    mean-spirited joke."

    http://www.CapMag.com/article.asp?ID=2300

    [ Parent ]

    Self-referentiality (none / 0) (#103)
    by Josh A on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:18:40 PM EST

    Weird. By that quote's description of deconstruction, it deconstructs deconstructionism. So, is it inaccurate, or hypocritical?

    Anyway, what does that have to do with the public's impression of art? If the elites were truly post-modern, rather than mired in old modernist habits of exclusion and clinging dependence on authority, they would have transformed the art scene some time ago.

    ---
    Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


    [ Parent ]
    Contrary datapoint (3.50 / 3) (#47)
    by srichman on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 12:09:08 PM EST

    I am not terribly cultured or knowledgeable about art, and I certainly am not a society patron or gallery curator. However, most of my favorite artists (e.g., Feininger, Arp, Bellmer, Ernst, Paik, Boltanski) are modern or contemporary, and the same holds for many of my friends' favorites. I'd take a contemporary art exhibit over, say, an impressionism exhibit any day of the week.

    I'm a young fellow, and perhaps that has something to do with it. Perhaps the "public's perception of what is 'art'" wasn't frozen 100 years ago, but is rather a sliding window, under which the younger generations are more accepting of "new" art. This is, of course, a pattern we see in many of the arts, from music to literature to cinema.

    Finally, there are many cases in which modern and contemporary art have been embraced by popular opinion, regardless of age and generation. Magritte, Dali, Sherman, O'Keeffe, Kandinsky, and Pollock are a few examples that come to mind. (Though, admittedly, some of these folks are much more accessible and more embracing of realism than their contemporaries.)

    [ Parent ]

    Meaning of art (3.00 / 5) (#23)
    by ElMiguel on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:18:05 PM EST

    Despite what experts think, for most people the word "art" means simply this useful concept: some creative work that gives one esthetic pleasure. Or, to be less subjective, some creative work that gives esthetic pleasure to a substantial amount of people.

    Please realize that this concept is independent of how influential a work was, how closely it follows some set of artistic rules or how convincing its author is at explaining it. Those factors can be interesting from a history-of-art perspective but should be separated from art itself, just like maths can be considered totally separately from their history.

    IMO this confusion between art and its history is the main cause of miscommunication between art aficionados and the public at large. Maybe Malevich's black square has been influential in the development of good art, but I don't think it qualifies as art itself.

    That's not art - that's interior decoration. (3.75 / 8) (#25)
    by felixrayman on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 03:38:07 PM EST

    for most people the word "art" means simply this useful concept: some creative work that gives one esthetic pleasure.

    "If it matches the curtains it must be art!"

    I don't know which "most people" you claim to have the authority to speak for, but you may be surprised by the number of people who have a conception of art that goes beyond mental masturbation.

    Call Donald Rumsfeld and tell him our sorry asses are ready to go home. Tell him to come spend a night in our building. - Pfc. Matthew C. O'Dell

    [ Parent ]
    Dada anyone? (3.66 / 4) (#32)
    by losthalo on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:48:54 PM EST

    Maybe Malevich's black square has been influential in the development of good art, but I don't think it qualifies as art itself.

    Reminds me of the emergence of Dada (which is, by the definitions of many, not art) and its influence on Surrealism.

    Actually, I think the current focus on postmodernism opens the fine arts community up nicely to the sort of mocking the Dadaists performed.

    (Losthalo)

    Guildenstern: Is that what people want?
    Player: It's what we do.

    [ Parent ]
    The CIA and Abstract Expressionism (4.28 / 7) (#26)
    by Eloquence on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 04:26:35 PM EST

    Abstract expressionism, as your article demonstrates, certainly existed before the Cold War, but it was later heavily funded and supported by the CIA to combat more socially relevant art. This is detailed by Frances Stonor Saunders in her book Who Paid the Piper?: The CIA and the Cultural Cold War. You will find various summaries online, such as:

    The CIA promoted 'Abstract Expressionism' primarily for the purpose of countering 'Social Realism' or "Socialist Realism" as the CIA called it and the CIA's Propaganda machine through numerous dummy fronts like the CCF and "The Encounter" focused the attention gained by Abstract Expressionism squarely at 'their man' Pollock.

    "Free Enterprise Painting"

    Jackson Pollock was one of the leaders and shapers of Abstract Expressionism and promoted its associations to "Free Enterprise Painting" as well the idea of there being a specifically 'American' identity to the style. In exchange for this 'patriotism' the CIA positioned Pollock at the forefront of 'Abstract Expressionists Movement' by supplying him with funding via the 'Congress for Cultural Freedom' (CCF), having his name printed in magazines such as "LIFE", describing him as the "leader of the Abstract Expressionists" or "the greatest living artist", organizing shows for him, etc. But was Pollock just a 'stoolie' in this CIA scheme? Stonor Saunders argues that most of these artists knew where their money was coming from and " if they didn´t they were...cultivatedly and culpably, ignorant", (-Who Paid the Piper?-Stonor Saunders).

    Jackson Pollock's connection with the government spanned most of his artistic career and he was directly funded by them for over 20 years. From 1938 to 1942 he worked for the Federal Art Project, in the 1950s and 1960s Pollock was supported by the CIA via the 'CCF. Probably no other artist in American history has worked for the Government as long as Pollock and denied doing so. In the late 60's after Pollock's death the CIA was for forced to admit collusion in Pollock's career and artificially generating hype about abstract expressionism for the purposes of intellectual and cultural propaganda. [source]

    Does that mean that AE is entirely bogus? Certainly not, some of its pictures may well be aesthetically pleasing to a large number of people. Just don't trust anyone who offers postmodernist explanations why that is so - they are bullshitting you. The CIA did not create this art movement, they only promoted it at the expense of others. This was certainly a more sophisticated way to deal with subversive art than to lock the artists up (as the Soviets did). It makes you wonder how much of modern art and entertainment is secretly funded -- maybe we'll find out in 20 years, in a small NYT article on the back pages.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!

    Your source: (3.00 / 2) (#31)
    by Canthros on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 06:05:25 PM EST

    The National Pist?

    Could you provide a recognizable or reputable source for this information?

    --
    It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
    RyoCokey
    [ Parent ]

    I did (3.00 / 2) (#33)
    by Eloquence on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:19:59 PM EST

    See the book.
    --
    Copyright law is bad: infoAnarchy · Pleasure is good: Origins of Violence
    spread the word!
    [ Parent ]
    Many apologies. (3.00 / 2) (#41)
    by Canthros on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 11:38:03 PM EST

    Somehow missed that in your original comment.

    I still think it sounds like a crank, but at least I can be sure it's published crank.

    --
    It's now obvious you are either A) Gay or B) Female, or possibly both.
    RyoCokey
    [ Parent ]

    Huh? (3.33 / 3) (#38)
    by Rainy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 08:58:30 PM EST

    I'm sorry, I can't make any sense out of this. There you are a CIA decision-maker and you have a choice of spending say $10k on some guy who paints black squares or something or on some guy who will try to steal secret documents from NKVD. I can't imagine how you can hope to keep your job if you do the former.
    --
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
    [ Parent ]
    Eggs/baskets (3.00 / 2) (#53)
    by tjb on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:47:55 PM EST

    This was the CIA in the 1950's.  They had $20k and paid both guys :)

    Tim

    [ Parent ]

    Quite influential (2.85 / 7) (#35)
    by skim123 on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 07:57:11 PM EST

    Of course, the obvious reply to all this is "well, but it's still just a black square on a canvas; how is that art?" That's a question a bit beyond the scope of this article, but in any case, a trip to any modern art museum should make clear that Malevich's Black Square has at the very least been enormously influential.

    Indeed. In fact, Malevich was the first artist to use what he dubbed "the square." Prior to this important piece, artists were limited to ellispses, arcs, and curves.

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum


    In defence of poor black square (3.87 / 8) (#39)
    by Rainy on Sat Jan 04, 2003 at 09:29:37 PM EST

    I was in a museum once here in NY and I think it was Guggenheim.. It was all surrealistic art, the most realistic items were kind of like Dali, though there was no Dali himself I could see. I didn't like any of it much. The building was in the form of a tower with inclining stairs running up the sides in a spiral. The works were hung on the walls (where else?). In the center there was a piece that I couldn't make into anything before guide explained that it was meant to show that they were 'fun' people, too, there, and it was really a giant 50 meter high vase with a flower in it that fell to the side. Just for the hell of it. There were two completely blank paintings. I don't know if you can call them paintings, there wasn't any of that involved in their creation. I guess there was no creation involved in their production, either. Nor any production involved in their uhm, "appearance". In other words, there was no any identifiable time period between this work being yet a canvas and then being a "work". I doubt you can say there was any work involved in.. well, I suppose by now this is getting a little tiring :P

    Anyway, it was a little distressing to me that there were *two* of them. I mean, really, come on. One is one too many.

    THe guide said that you have to use your imagination and it was easier in the last location because, well, sunlight was falling on it and you could see shadows of dust on it.

    It seems that it's not fair that someone can sell an empty canvas for probably tens of thousands of dollars when a highly skilled artitsts who spent years of hard work honing their mastery and who sell for $40 a canvas on sidewalks, or something like that.

    But art is not mastery and skilll. It's vision and idea that wear skill like a parade dress.

    Pragmatically speaking, if you have a great idea, you'll probably spend needed time to dress it accordingly. Or coming from another end, if you have spent 30 years painting a canvas in painstaking detail, people may be reasonably sure you have some vision and it's worthwhile to stand before it for an hour trying to figure out just what you were trying to say. Unlike a child's drawing in your neighbours' house magneted to a fridge that you'd feel like a waste to spend even 30 seconds to behold.

    But art in a way is made in defiance of pragmatism. So maybe they're trying to say - look - even if you never drawn anything and if you try, you end up with pathetic picture that instead of for example a pegasus you were trying to draw look like ... lines.. that's all; *even* then, you may even put up a blank sheet of paper on a wall not for anyone to admire but for yourself to say to you, for example - this is my life, I will draw anything on it. And if you do something or hear something or accomplish something you can add a line to it that commemorates an event and only has special meaning for yourself and nobody else.

    I believe many people need to hear this but even if you say it, they won't believe it. If you say "you can see beauty in the most usual sight, if you try", they'll frown and say - we've heard that, it's not new. So, a painting is a way of picturing it, not saying it. And painting a second one that looks just like that is saying something new. And having a museum of blank canvases is saying something new, too.

    Anyway, I guess I'm trying to say that art is tricky, and don't feel cheated by poor malevich, he did die of poverty.

    Disclaimer: I had enough moral fiber not to sell blank canvases to poor gullible Gugenheim, and am quite proud of it.
    --
    Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

    "Art" (4.00 / 10) (#45)
    by robson on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 01:19:36 AM EST

    I think we have a problem with the word "art". I don't know if it's like this elsewhere in the world, but I've definitely observed it here in the U.S.

    The word "art" seems to carry too much weight for us. It seems stained by pretension. We load it up with pre-judgements and assumptions about value, quality, audience, and function. Whether our personal reactions to the word are positive or negative, we will still generally stack more meaning onto the word than it can be reasonably expected to support.

    Play it out.

    You should go see X. It's art.

    Oh, it is, is it? Says you. Don't tell me what is or isn't art. Now Y, that's art.

    Or perhaps...

    A isn't art, it's shmaltz. B isn't art, my 4-year-old could have done that. C isn't art, it's entertainment. D isn't art, it's illustration.

    This becomes a bizarre sort of conceptual landmine when discussing creative endeavors, mainly because the word can mean such dramatically different things to different people. Nothing frustrates me more than when someone asks a question like, "Can comics be art?", and "Are video games art?"

    It's not a useful question. We're not likely to resolve anything that way. "Art" is not some exclusive club, whose membership is up for debate at every turn; it's the result of a creative endeavor.

    If there's any blurry line about what qualifies as art, it's in disciplines that involve both creativity and utility. In such cases, it's not that a discipline is or isn't art, but that it's both art and something else. Art and science. Or art and craft. Architecture is a good example. Buckminster Fuller is often quoted as having said, "When I am working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only of how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong."

    We're much better off disassociating the word "art" from any implicit value judgements. Then we can proceed to talk about whether something is interesting art, or innovative art, or crappy art, or boring art, or gutsy art, etc. And those are worthwhile questions.

    (Shamelessly plagarized from my own journal page, but it seems okay under the circumstances.)

    ---
    It seemed real but wasn't.
    I agree 100%, you make a good point (none / 0) (#96)
    by livus on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 01:05:16 AM EST

    Thanks for taking the time to post that, I was just thinking how a stupid speech from, say, George W doesnt attract the criticism "is it speech", yet the poor old black square is coming under so much retrospective abuse.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    [ Parent ]
    Art is indeed an exclusive club (none / 0) (#102)
    by Josh A on Mon Jan 27, 2003 at 09:06:28 PM EST

    "Art" is not some exclusive club, whose membership is up for debate at every turn...

    Well you're half right. Art's membership is not up for debate. You're either in the club or part of the masses. (We'll pay no attention to renegades or unauthorized art here.)

    While giving much lip service to the "importance of art to humanity", the elite use art as another way of defining and maintaining their elite status. The elite go to the Louvre, the masses go to Disneyland. And it's all about authority. Who says what about which pieces has more to do with what's popular than the work itself.

    What "is" and "isn't" art depends on how the creative markets the work and who s/he knows. Get one celebrity to "collect" your art, or the positive pronouncement of one well placed authority, and you'll be on your way in your career as a fine artist.

    ---
    Thank God for Canada, if only because they annoy the Republicans so much. – Blarney


    [ Parent ]
    If you buy a piece of art like black square or (2.00 / 4) (#46)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 03:52:56 AM EST

    pay to see one, you've gotten what you deserve. I'm actually working on a very similar piece. It's going to be a black circle. I'm going to call it "Your ass or a hole in the ground?"

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    This begs the question: (3.50 / 2) (#55)
    by jabber on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 04:32:00 PM EST

    Is "art" in the ends, or the means?

    Anyone, literally anyone, can create a "work of art" such as the Black Square. Whence the "art" of this?

    Is it in the contemplation of the sum of art to date, and in the deliberate counteraction in the creation of something like this?

    Certainly it can not be in the finished product in this case. If Sistene Chappel ceilings were a dime a dozen, would it cease to be "art"? Don't all blocks of granite contain a "David", just waiting to have the extraneous stone removed by any Michelangelo to come along?

    Is "art" in the skill of the craftsman? Is someone who can draw a perfect circle free-hand a greater "artist" than someone who can not? Does Ansel Adams' knowledge of the camera make him an "artist", or is it his choice of subject" Or was it just a lucky choice of assistants?

    Is the Black Square a work of "art" because Malevicz could easily have chosen to create something else, and deliberately did not apply any more skill than is available to a 3rd grader?

    Is it "art" because a presumed "artist" crawled out on a limb, where critics could more easily throw rotten vegetables at him?

    If I painted the Black Square, nobody would care at all, except if I dripped paint on the rugs - this would piss off my landlord.

    Whence "art" here?

    You say such a discussion is beyond the scope of the article. I see this as a cop-out. To be a significant work of art, something has to be art in the first place.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"

    Well... (none / 0) (#60)
    by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:51:45 PM EST

    Having a certain degree of technical skill ought to be a prerequisite to being considered a "serious" artist. There are certainly criteria which can be applied to determine if something is good art.

    The category of "art" is too broad and confused and up-for-grabs to make claims of "that isn't art"; better to call something kitsch or "lousy art" or "pedestrian art" than to say it "isn't art". Some of the production of the Dadaists could easily be argued to be "lousy art", but the presentation of those works was in some cases probably some very good "art". :-)

    (Losthalo)
    "If we had a destiny, then so had he--
    and if this is ours, then that was his--
    and if there are no explanations for us, then let there be none for him---"
    (Guildenstern)

    [ Parent ]
    you oughtta know (none / 0) (#78)
    by adequate nathan on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:39:16 AM EST

    What "begs the question" means before doing it.

    Nathan
    "For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
    -Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003

    Join the petition: Rusty! Make dumped stories & discussion public!
    [ Parent ]

    Quite right (none / 0) (#82)
    by jabber on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:05:21 AM EST

    By presenting Black Square as a piece of influential art, it is presumed that it is in fact art. My point is that a discussion of the nature of "art" is needed, and that claiming that it is beyond the scope of the article, is akin to claiming that a discussion of the existence of God is extraneous to discussing the validity of laws "dictated by God" - for example.

    [TINK5C] |"Is K5 my kapusta intellectual teddy bear?"| "Yes"
    [ Parent ]

    somewhat of a clarification (4.50 / 2) (#86)
    by Delirium on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 03:34:15 PM EST

    What I intended was to point out that this work (whether you call it art or not) has had significant influence on what is commonly referred to as "modern art" (whether you call that art or not). This would still be the case even if it were non-art influencing other non-art (though in that case you might argue the influence is not too interesting).

    [ Parent ]
    How YOU can tell when it is art. (none / 0) (#100)
    by f0rTyLeGz on Sun Jan 12, 2003 at 10:48:00 PM EST

    If you start making art, it will all get thrown away. If not by you, by those that inherit your stuff. So "art" is what future generations don't throw away.
    They say everything can be replaced. -Bob Dylan-
    [ Parent ]
    60 Minutes (3.50 / 2) (#57)
    by sayjack on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 05:56:46 PM EST

    I saw a special on 60 minutes where a fellow took a piss in a mason jar and floated a replica of Christ in it then put a lid on it, called it art, and collected $60,000.00 from the state. Yes, US tax dollars funded this drivel. 60 minutes was jumping all over it.

    Is it art? Sure, however, such things make labeling something as art rather meaningless. You can call it art, but at the end of the day it's still a jar full of piss to me.

    State art funding (none / 0) (#59)
    by losthalo on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:33:33 PM EST

    The government funding art is probably not a good idea in the first place.  It not only allows politicians to have a major influence on what is considered good artwork, but it also raises the question of whether the taxpayers like the art they're funding.

    I'd rather see the government funding either art institutions (studios providing facilities for photography, printmaking, etc.) and giving out art supplies than sponsoring specific artists.

    As for Serrano (the 'Piss Christ' artist), I didn't find his claims to naivete to be credible, nor his intentions to be as clear-cut as he put on.

    (Losthalo)

    Audiences know what to expect, and that is all that they are prepared to believe in.
    (Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead)

    [ Parent ]

    piling-on (none / 0) (#94)
    by tgibbs on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 03:52:25 PM EST

    I saw a special on 60 minutes where a fellow took a piss in a mason jar and floated a replica of Christ in it then put a lid on it, called it art, and collected $60,000.00 from the state. Yes, US tax dollars funded this drivel. 60 minutes was jumping all over it.
    I remember hearing about this, and having what was probably the typical kneejerk reaction ("idiots spending public money on drivel"). But then it turned out that the author didn't actually receive public money for this particular work, but for something else entirely. And when I finally saw a picture of the work, I was astonished to find it quite beautiful--perhaps disturbing to some, but unquestionably art, and probably even (as the artist claimed) an expression of sincere religious sentiment. It was a good lesson. Now, I take this kind of political/media piling-on with a lot more grains of salt.

    [ Parent ]
    Terrible images (4.00 / 5) (#58)
    by awgsilyari on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 07:03:11 PM EST

    Who decided it would be good to encode the images with JPEG? Is it just me or is that image really really crappy? There's just enough variation in the colors to make each 8x8 block slightly different. Therefore the picture looks like... a bunch of 8x8 blocks.

    It should be a crime to deface art in such a way. This should have been saved in PNG format.

    --------
    Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com

    PNG for dial-up needs to be color-reduced (none / 0) (#90)
    by pin0cchio on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 12:42:18 AM EST

    This should have been saved in PNG format.

    Realize that to get any decent transfer rate for a large PNG image over a dial-up Internet connection, the image has to be reduced to 64 or fewer colors, which itself introduces artifacts that are possibly more annoying than the artifacts of a JPEG image of similar data size.


    lj65
    [ Parent ]
    Black square intro flawed (4.08 / 12) (#67)
    by filchyboy on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 09:55:53 PM EST

    This is so sad. Nice it is that you bring this extremely important work to light in this space. I applaud you that however we would have been well served if the context of the square had been made clear. Given the ignorant comments you've received I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I guess I shouldn't be surprised but dammit if there are some ignorant stinkers responding to this thread. My folks taught me not to make speeches about things I know nothing about. I wonder what is everyone elses excuse. The black square was important because of where in the room it was hung. It was hung, and continues to be hung when it is exhibited, in the space in the room where the religious icon was hung. In every Russian home at the time there was a specific place on the wall where the icon of the virgin, or jesus, or the apostles, where hug. In the Orthodox Russian Christianity of the day prayers were made to the icon on a daily basis. When the inhabitants of the home prayed they faced the icon, usually on their knees, and prayed in a very similar manner to tha way that Muslims face Mecca when praying. You could travel around Moscow or St. Petersburg in those days and in every home in the same cardinal direction in the same place on the wall would be an icon. Malevich's brilliance was in replacing the icon with his black square showing the impotence of the church in that day and the blind devotion of the Russian populous to icons and the accepted meme of his day. By painting this black square he questioned the authority of the church. He also posed a very sticky situation for the state with the black square. The Russian revolution was in full swing when this was done and the state could look at this as a critique of the church but it could also be considered an equally valid critique of the state since the state at this time demanded to the same kind of obedience, and iconography, as the church. So the image made it past the censors and because of its placement made it's point to every Russian of the day who viewed it. This was art in the highest sense of the word no matter what the fine folks at kuro5hin may deem. It broke all grounds in esthetics and spoke volumes about the state of Russian society in the early days of the Soviet Revolution. Not to put too fine of a point on it but we would all benefit from knowing what we are talking about before make speeches about things we know nothing about. Good post! Sorry I didn't respond earlier before the 21st century ignorant Mericans joined in.

    interesting (4.00 / 3) (#70)
    by Delirium on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:07:13 PM EST

    I didn't mention that because I hadn't actually come across it before. None of the books or websites I consulted in writing the article mentioned that it hung in the place usually reserved for icons when exhibited; the only comment I saw about its placement was that a black square placed in front of the sun appeared in the set Malevich designed for the 1913 Futurist opera Victory Over the Sun. Certainly changes the meaning of the piece though; it's odd that my sources didn't mention it (even the rather lengthy information page on the work at the Hermitage Museum, where it's currently being displayed, has no mention of a religious connection).

    [ Parent ]
    Suprematism Trumps All (4.00 / 7) (#72)
    by filchyboy on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 12:34:29 AM EST

    Yea it is sad but the pieces place at the beginning of the Suprematist movement counts for more than the context and importance of the piece itself. It became, once Soviet society got into its repressive cultural stage, forbidden to discuss that the piece had religious implications because it was no longer clear that Malevich was actually a proper soviet athiest. In fact he was not. The Hermitage page does make a religious connection which you may have missed. They mention that it is part of a tryptych. Although in modern terms a tryptych might be considered a painting in three parts in previous days a tryptych was a three part painting on a religious theme. That whole era of Suprematism and Futurism is fascinating. Much of what can be said about it however has never been said outside of Russsian. I find Malevich fascinating but I must admit to preferring Filonov's paintings and Khlebnikov's writing to the work of Malevich. His late peasant paintings, though, are amazing and deserve to be compared to modern commercial iconography. That being said the black square is definately one of the high points of modern art, IMHO. Somewhere I have a citation for a scholar who discusses this connection at length. I don't think it's in Russian? If I come across it I'll try and forward you the citation.

    [ Parent ]
    scope of art (3.00 / 2) (#83)
    by ethereal on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 11:10:41 AM EST

    That was a great explanation of the significance of the piece; thanks for writing that.

    Perhaps the problem is that "Black Square" is not really the extent of the piece? It sounds like the piece is really an entire room, with the black square in the icon's position. In fact, the piece of art may even contain the historical context of the times which made the square so significant.

    Maybe my (and many others) problem with modern art is that the artwork doesn't stop at the edge of the canvas, but in exhibitions it is often presented as if that were the case.

    --

    Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
    [ Parent ]

    Good comment, but use paragraphs (none / 0) (#95)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed Jan 08, 2003 at 07:39:20 PM EST

    The paragraph symbol is <P>.  Place it where you want line spaces.  When I read one big paragraph I always feel like I'm listening to someone talk real fast.

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]
    art like this... (3.50 / 2) (#71)
    by tuj on Sun Jan 05, 2003 at 11:10:29 PM EST

    ...reminds me of a statement by Brian Eno regarding the music of John Cage (I think specifically 4'33").  He said:

    "Avant-garde music is a sort of research music. You're glad someone's done it but you don't necessarily want to listen to it.

    It's similar to the way I'm very happy people have gone to the North Pole. It extends my concept of the planet to know it exists, but I don't want to live there, or even go there actually. But it's a boundary condition."

    I think the same concept would apply here.


    don't mention the c word (none / 0) (#77)
    by jovlinger on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 09:41:31 AM EST

    after his estate sucessfully sued a guy who as a joke attributed a silent passage on a cd to Cage.

    His defence of using the short snippet was along the lines of  "I don't see how I'm infringing on the copyright: they can't even tell me which part I copied."

    pathetic. Both that it was copyrightable, and that the estate saw fit to pursue it.

    It seems the only recourse is to not mention C or his works again.

    [ Parent ]

    Your recourse is stupid... (none / 0) (#81)
    by BuddasEvilTwin on Mon Jan 06, 2003 at 10:58:56 AM EST

    That's a good story.

    You realize that not mentioning his name does nothing to punish him?

    A better recourse would be to mention his name at any applicable time, and recite the story to as many people as possible.

    Making up rumors also helps...

    The goal is detour his behavior in others by making an example out of him.

    That's what really gets me about certain abstract artists.  They can so pedantrically obsessive over trite abstractions and obtuse mechanics that they forget the whole fucking point of art.

    [ Parent ]

    the guy was a moron (none / 0) (#101)
    by jt on Tue Jan 14, 2003 at 05:41:52 PM EST

    He shouldn't have credited it to Cage, then the greedy bastards wouldn't have asked for royalties.

    [ Parent ]
    North Pole (4.00 / 1) (#91)
    by IHCOYC on Tue Jan 07, 2003 at 10:03:38 AM EST

    Couldn't we be sure the North Pole exists even if no one had ever been there? We knew the earth is roughly spherical and rotates around a fixed axis well before anyone went there.
    --
    "Complecti antecessores tuos in spelćis stygiis Tartari appara," eructavit miles primus.
    "Vix dum basiavisti vicarium velocem Mortis," rediit Grignr.
    --- Livy
    [ Parent ]
    the ahistorical malaise of the early C21st... (4.00 / 1) (#98)
    by livus on Thu Jan 09, 2003 at 01:20:14 AM EST

    ...it really is bizarre reading some of these comments. Anyone would thinnk that Kasimir Malevich was some sort of recent Warholian celebrity foisting his art on the adoring and outraged public of NYC, rather than an impoverished Russian who was painting nearly a hundred years ago.

    Reading the "my four year old" posts I get the distinct impression that nobody knows anything about the history of art and hence cannot understand the piece in its context, much less outside of it. You may not like it, you may even "not know anything about art but I know what I like", but that really has very little to do with what this article was trying to discuss, and the fact is that modernism laid the foundations of many of the things you do enjoy today.

    I think it's kind of cool that somewhere, somehow, stuff like this still gets to be almost controversial.

    ---
    HIREZ substitute.
    be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
    I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
    I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
    I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

    Occasional Art Piece: Malevich's Black Square | 103 comments (101 topical, 2 editorial, 0 hidden)
    Display: Sort:

    kuro5hin.org

    [XML]
    All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
    See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
    Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
    Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
    My heart's the long stairs.

    Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!