Art as Music, Music as Poetry, Poetry as Art, from Whistler by Peter Dayan

By Peter Dayan

In 1877, Ruskin accused Whistler of ‘flinging a pot of paint within the public’s face’. was once he correct? finally, Whistler regularly denied that the real functionality of paintings was once to symbolize something. If a portray doesn't symbolize, what's it, except mere paint, flung within the public’s face? Whistler’s resolution used to be basic: portray is song – or it truly is poetry.

Georges Braque, part a century later, echoed Whistler’s solution. So did Braque’s associates Apollinaire and Ponge. They awarded their poetry as track too – and as portray. yet in the meantime, composers resembling Satie and Stravinsky have been featuring their very own paintings – song – as though it transposed the values of portray or of poetry. the elemental precept of this intermedial aesthetic, which certain jointly a unprecedented fraternity of artists in all media in Paris, from 1885 to 1945, used to be this: we should always take into consideration the price of a piece of artwork, no longer in the good judgment of its personal medium, yet as though it transposed the worth of artwork in one other medium. Peter Dayan lines the historical past of this precept: the way it created our very inspiration of ‘great art’, why it declined as a imaginative and prescient from the Sixties and the way, within the twenty first century, it's struggling with back.

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