7 Answers

  1. Here's an analogy: any art is a foreign language.

    At some point, I decided to understand Chinese painting and upgrade it to something like B1-a good understanding of the basics, chronology, styles, basic figures, etc., even if I can't communicate freely on this topic with either a Chinese person or a Sinologist. In any case, I wanted to have an idea of Chinese painting, at least not inferior to the concept of, say, Russian, why not.

    It didn't take much to do that:

    1. Go to exhibitions, look at each item in detail, take pictures of works and signatures. Spend at least ten minutes with each big job, if possible.
    2. Read literature + find and listen to lectures on the subject. In particular, I quickly realized that social history was essential, and I listened to 36 hours of Chinese history. Only then did I read the actual history of painting on top of them.
    3. Study in a row, but decide which of all this array is particularly interesting. I'm not at all interested in court portraits and still lifes, but I read everything about them anyway, so as not to miss aspects of the fundamental base. The fundamental base is needed because without it it is impossible to understand what you want to understand in detail.
    4. Create your own manual yourself. The problem with other people's maps is that they are someone else's, and sometimes you need your own.
    5. Set up an emotional connection. Art always demands more from the viewer than the inexperienced viewer is willing to give it, at least at first.

    In the end, I actually spent about the same amount on this case as it once took me to reach B1 in German (in my case, six months). If someone thinks that this is a lot, then this is not a lot, I was afraid that it would be much more.

    On the one hand, it is much easier to deal with modern art than with a completely independent thousand — year — old tradition-but if you have never systematically studied painting before, many things will seem taken from the ceiling precisely because of the lack of a base.

    …Which, in turn, also does not play the final role. Being able to say “this is a Rothko” is great, but it's about the same as pointing at salt and saying “盐”. To understand painting is to understand form.

    That is why, in sum, everything happens for a long time and difficult.

    I can only say that it pays off. Just as the knowledge of language feels like a whole second separate life, so the knowledge of painting becomes something like a whole second separate point of view-and which in turn expands as you become familiar with unusual but well — developed traditions.

    For this purpose, you can sometimes go to the museum.

    1. The division into ordinary people and other people is artificial. Everyone in life has different stages, changes in priorities, and so on. If you asked such a question, it means that questions began to arise inside, interest.

    2. Contemporary art is a very diverse phenomenon. In addition, it is a rather vague term that everyone perceives in their own way. There are many currents inside.

    Well, it is important why you need this understanding. If for yourself, then you need to fit into the context: watch more, read more, and participate in some creative discussions. It would be ideal to learn something specialized. After all, the origins of modern art are the same as those of traditional art – creative self-expression, the realization of sensual images. The language is only different. When you start to learn this through practice, this is a much better understanding. Theoretical knowledge is often quite vaguely reminiscent of the true intent of the artist.

    If such an understanding is necessary for some practical applications, for example, to become a curator or (God forbid) an art critic, then you need to study art history, but you also need to have a lot of experience.

    I enclose a photo with the artist Andrey Lyublinsky and his eloquent T-shirt.

  2. First, don't expect that an art object will necessarily be beautiful. Remember that contemporary art “asks questions”, “exposes / ridicules acute situations”, and tries to make you think about certain things. There are also works that are very complex in technique and execution. Sometimes the technique is innovative and gives subsequent development for the emergence of new materials, construction methods, and anything else.

    And most importantly, you do not need to force yourself to understand and see something in the art object. If you perceive contemporary art in a relaxed way, you can intuitively feel whether an art object is “your” or not. This happens through subconscious associations. For example, when you were a child, you saw a bird flying by in the reflection of a stream, and this struck you and remained in your memory. Many years later, you saw an art object that reminded you of this and you liked it. At the same time, another person can “read” the same art object differently.

    Probably the main rule is not to deny abruptly what you don't understand. After all, all people are different, and if you do not find yourself reflected in a particular work, this does not mean that others will look at the object in the same way.

  3. How can the average person understand the reasons for raising the retirement age in Russia? Only knowing the historical, political, social, economic, and so on contexts of what is happening. Of course, the average person cannot keep track of all this, and, in my opinion, there are two ways out — to seek salvation from experts or to become an expert himself. Unfortunately, the basics of perception of art are not taught in Russian general education schools. That's why we're all so lost on this issue.

  4. Contemporary art is primarily conceptual. It should not be evaluated only from the point of view of the visual component, whether it is beautiful or not. Often you need to really know what the artist said/showed and to whom. Just looking isn't enough.

    For example, there was Marcel Duchamp, who exhibited a urinal from a store at the exhibition and gave rise to such a direction in art as ready made (when an object that was taken from the surrounding world is used as a work of art).

    Now in our time, to understand why Marcel Duchamp did this, you need to study history. If you ever see a photo of this urinal in any collection of photos of important works of modern art, then you will never understand what the joke is.

    It's like a torn party card in the Soviet years-imagine that you have such a photo of some 88 year old and you are trying to explain to a modern teenager what it is. And he doesn't know about the Soviet period, about dissidents and so on. By the way, contemporary art is often a statement about the current political agenda, some socially significant issues. For example, it contains a lot of irony about something, such as how the visitor walks around the museum and what they are trying to see there. But to understand this, you need to be aware of what the author is making fun of. Etc. etc.

    And there's nothing super-sophisticated about it. Imagine that you are in a friendly company and someone stupidly crashed their car (for example, parked under an icicle, and it fell). For the sake of banter, you can give him a cake in the form of an icicle, to which evil eyes is attached – and thereby repeat one (far from the only) of the logics of modern art. And here it does not matter that the icicle did not come out quite realistically. And exactly also third-party people who are not in the topic will not understand why the cake is made in the form of an icicle and what does the eyes have to do with it. I am exaggerating a little, but I try to show the role of what is called “being in the subject” in contemporary art issues.

    No one is interested in drawing realistic pictures just like that. This is very narrow and there is a camera for this.

  5. This is not modern art , but a typical abstraction “wrapped in a package of modern art”. All these scribbles and other nonsense – this is not mass culture-this is for limited people – this is narrow-minded highbrowness of certain people who think they are artists and promote their scribbles and other nonsense all over the world … Mass culture can only be harmonious, logical, aesthetic and understandable to everyone without exception …

  6. Good afternoon!

    To begin to experience something about contemporary art, it is best to start reading about art in general. I can offer you my blog:


    Art is a single living organism for 6 thousand years from the time of Ancient Egypt. Therefore, in three months, it is unlikely that you will even be able to fully get high from immersion in this world. When people learn new things, stress and fatigue are the inevitable companions of the process (((The high begins after about half a year of constant “training” in theory and looking at the right collections of pictures. The main thing to remember is that no style is left in the past – they all come back into fashion from time to time, because art is not a hobby of one evening a month, it is an exciting and developing process for a lifetime))

    I hope my answer was useful to you!

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