Saturday, March 01, 2014

Debra Jean Moncur. Winter Treasures (1997)

     Debra Jean Moncur. Winter Treasures (1997) A collection of paintings featuring winter. It’s not quite clear why this book was assembled, nor exactly who the intended audience is. The artist bios include references to art galleries that represent them, which indicates that the book was at least in part an attempt to drum up some trade. The pictures range in quality from quite good (three examples) to Sunday-painterish (far too many) to plain kitsch. A few convey the sense that the subject and its handling meant something to the artist, most look like what they are: more or less competent attempts to paint a picture by people who have some notion that an artist’s job is express some feeling. It isn’t. I agree with Dr Johnson’s opinion: the purpose of art is to make familiar things new and new things familiar. Or, in this case, to make us see what we’ve always seen as if we hadn’t seen it before.
     The introduction is laced with solecisms and vaguely romantic assertions of the significance of nature to the artist. I happen to have strong feelings about and for nature, too, but I’ve never understood why revealing that I have them should somehow make my work better than if I expressed, say, a preference for soot and mortar. * (2012)

No comments: