Ideas and Brushes

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E H Gombrich in "Art & Illusion" cites the Chinese formula:
'Ideas present, brush may be spared performance'
which he quoted in the context of the frequent transition of great masters like Titian and Rembrandt from an early quite heavy and detailed technique through to 'sublime simplification'.

In my view, modifying this formula to apply to what became Conceptual Art in the 1960's and what developed from it up to today would result in
'Ideas claimed to be present, brush, canvas and art spared existence'.
This may seem harsh but, to the outsider looking in, the Conceptual Art Emperor appears not only to lack clothes but, even worse, there is only a void where the Emperor's body is supposed to be. He has neither clothes nor corporeal presence to clothe!

We need to reclaim for art both a presence and a purpose which goes far beyond the self-proclaimed, self-serving emptiness of Conceptual art.

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