If there’s anything we owe the Post-Impressionists it was their abandonment of Impressionism and the re-emphasis placed on the aesthetics of Line, Form and Color. The flat surface was alive with works by Gauguin, van Gogh, Seurat and Cezanne. The potential for a twentieth century aesthetic renaissance found favor with painters like Picasso and Matisse – "seeing" and "feeling" was becoming reconciled; but, a mounting intellectual materialism led a trend toward nihilism and secularism and, ultimately, to the displacement of Formal Aesthetics. In its place was the introduction of an anti-aesthetic rule claiming the essential ingredient in a work of art is its "concept" or "idea" (the use of "shock" as a concept tool is evidenced everywhere in our culture).
Predictably, the emotional affiliation between painter and a flat surface was replaced with what can only be described as "journalistic" art. What is sad and clear is that creatively inspired culture nourishing of the individual has been replaced by a submissive "commonality" that can - and does - result in a state of creative mediocrity. Modern History has shown artists of every genre forsook country of birth to be free from secular restraints placed upon their ethical, spiritual and aesthetic sensibilities. The emotional level that sustains life and art has no survival value in an un-feeling, secular environment. "The Preservation of Painting and the Integrity of a Flat Surface" is meant to re-affirm the aesthetic integrity of a flat surface. Where are the Giotto’s, Rembrandt’s and Cezanne’s …?
See more of Michael's work in Aesthetics 6250 A.U.