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November, 2009

Social and Oil Painting Connection

November 30th, 2009

In these writings I have focused on the connections and relationships primarily between the artist and the visual experience, and as well on the cultural/social connection with painting given its place today in the arts. Historical and political influences have to a lesser degree been touched upon. Given today’s social/political climate these considerations become difficult to approach, added with the fact that later nineteenth century intellectuals bypassed an analysis of social history and its relevancy to art. With few exceptions they were content with offering an analysis of the “masterpiece” as social history. The context of social history itself was dismissed.

The slave to beauty artistic attitude developed in the void of this rather sterile social/political situation. Oops, I wrote a rather judgmental word here. My wish is to write clearly without any reactionary digressions. When we begin looking at stuff like this clarity must be maintained. Understanding can only come when we suspend judgements and wipe the words from our eyes so to speak. That said, we have to ask why it is that mankind has found it so difficult to peacefully co-exist with each other. Social history in this area is not a pretty picture.

The relationships we can observe in recorded history between ideologies, social groups, religions, prominent philosophical thought, and the creative individual becomes pertinent when clearly considered. In saying “creative individual”, let us remember that we did not have anything approaching what we know to day as art until a mere couple of hundred years ago. We need some understanding of what we have on record (the text) and what had preceded it (social history, i.e., the context) which will be pursued in subsequent articles. Hopefully this can be done in a straightforward fashion. Simple but not easy!

Published in french as Rapport entre le social et la peinture à l’huile

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