Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What is Art?

Lightening Field - Walter De Maria
My husband Mark suggested that this is a very controversial question...What is Art?  At some point in time he noticed that this topic sparked tons of conversation in LinkedIn or Twitter...I can't remember which. 
Recently, I was reminded of him telling me about this.  We were in a museum last week, the Western Heritage Center on the way back from visiting the town of Sturgis, South Dakota (pre-motorcycle rally madness, mind you) and one of the displays was one of these:

The sign on this pile of rock was this interesting sign:

if you can see it...maybe not...but there is a sentence in this sign that says "Since the purest form of art is art that is not made for a purpose, but rather is an action a person is compelled to do, they represent this action: the motivation came out of idle time...they were created to enhance the lives of us plain folks by people unschooled in the formal practice of art and art history."
So Stone Jonnie Art - there you go.
So the photo of the lightning at the beginning of this post is there because I wanted to talk about Walter De Maria today.  From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia :)  is this:
     Walter Joseph De Maria (October 1, 1935 – July 25, 2013) was an American artist, sculptor, illustrator and composer. He lived and worked in New York City. Walter de Maria's artistic practice is connected with Minimal art, Conceptual art, and Land art of the 1960s.
     LACMA director Michael Govan said that "I think he's one of the greatest artists of our time." Govan, who worked with De Maria for a number of years, found De Maria's work "singular, sublime and direct."
So, Lightning Field is De Maria's best known works and it is an outdoor installation of 400 vertical stainless steel posts which give all sorts of interesting optical effects at different times of the day and night and also attracts lightning.  It can be seen in New Mexico and is maintained by the Dia Art Foundation...this from their site: 
Commissioned and maintained by Dia Art Foundation, The Lightning Field is recognized internationally as one of the late-twentieth century's most significant works of art and exemplifies Dia's commitment to the support of art projects whose nature and scale exceed the limits normally available within the traditional museum or gallery. 
Incidentally, I found this photo on a wonderful website which every artist should know about (IMHO) called Daily Serving - An International Publication for Contemporary Art

So that is all I have for us today.  What is art to you?

"Till tomorrow!