Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Santayana on art

The dear old Guardian on the 2012 Turner prize :- 

On the face of it they are wildly different: ecclesiastical architecture, a 1960s girl band performance and a terrible furniture store blaze that helped change UK fire laws. But Elizabeth Price's powerful fusion of the three elements to make a 20-minute film seemed to grip audiences and led to her being named winner of the 2012 Turner prize.

As we all know, the Turner prize is a much maligned and ridiculed annual art game. I recently came across this quote from George Santayana, which for me, fits the bill.

George Santayana (1863 - 1952)

Beginners are still supposed to study their art, but they have no masters from whom to learn it. Thus, when there seemed to be some danger that art should be drowned in science and history, the artists deftly eluded it by becoming amateurs.

The arts are like truant children who think their life will be glorious if they only run away and play for ever; no need is felt of a dominant ideal passion and theme, nor of any moral interest in the interpretation of nature. Artists have no less talent than ever; their taste, their vision, their sentiment are often interesting; they are mighty in their independence and feeble only in their works.

George Santayana - Winds Of Doctrine: Studies in Contemporary Opinion (1913).


James Higham said...

Turner Prize - grrrrrrr.

Demetrius said...

Are "The Wurzels" great art, if not why not?

A K Haart said...

James - "grrrr" and "aaaargh not again."

Demetrius - no, no - too popular.