Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The Shape of Time

According to George Kubler, biographies possess multiple limitations or restrictions.  Biographies and catalogues alike only have the ability to give a general idea or outlook on the nature of artistic traditions.  They cannot easily depict the 'historical questions in artists' lives', which is the question of how they can connect what has come before and what will come after their artistic periods.

Individual Entrances

While the life of an artist is typically a sector of a biographical series, it is almost fruitless to make it the central piece of the series.  Doing this doesn't allow for a rounded explanation of experiences, occurrences, and general happenings that took place during the lifespan of the appraised artist.  Instead, the situation should be looked at and addressed as if an artist's lifework has the ability to precede as much as it does to surpass him or her.  The entrance of the artist, as said by Kubler is what differentiates the artist from that instead of a copyist.  This entrance enables the start of a tradition that only the artist is responsible for.  While there are "good" or "bad" entrances, this solely depends on the placement of the connection between the artist's personality or disposition (temperament) and a "favorable position" into a sequence.

Talent and Genius

Here, Kubler has pointed out that while talent is regarded as an aspect of predisposition belonging to individuals, it cannot be categorized in degrees, but rather different kinds.  Further on, it is stated that the term "genius" is continuously used incorrectly.  While most people think of it to be a predisposition, Kubler believes it has to do with a "fortuitous keying together of disposition and situation into an exceptionally efficient entity."  Personally, I read this as the people we deem "geniuses" have been able to effectively take advantage of every opportunity given to them at the right time to generate exceptionally beneficial outcomes throughout their lives.

Biological and Physical Metaphors

Style is introduced as a metaphoric plant; its first section of leaves start out small, while the midsection is fully formed, and finally the last leaves are small, yet prominently defined by their shape.  
While "material culture" would have been a better phrasing to Kubler than "history of things", both emanate from different works crafted and reworked by human hands with the help of guided ideas developed in temporal sequence.

The Invisible Chain

Among artists, prior events that occur before them determine the previously mentioned sequences.  Additionally, these prior events paired with future opportunities determine the position of every work of art.

Solitary and Gregarious Artists

Commonly, the appreciation of works of art and what actual work has been put behind them is only revealed after the artist's death.  Kubler believes that all important artists belong to this "lonely class".  Yet occasionally, the artist will be seen as a rebel.  But today the artist is neither a rebel nor an entertainer.  Being rebellious requires external effort away from the actual work than the artist wants to make.

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