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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Evaluating contemporaries. By John von Daler

                       In response to my question an art historian friend explained that the term "#gothic" in its first usage meant something outlandish, something the goths might have built.

                He added that baroque also was derogatory in the beginning and meant something irregular or too complex.
                Both terms have come to their own through the centuries and are used primarily in a positive sense now. (I am leaving literature, comics and lifestyle out for now.)
                We are at this moment on our way to Amsterdam to visit, among other places, the #Van Gogh museum. Van Gogh died penniless, almost unknown.
                The reputation of #Bach was about to die out when #Mendelssohn, among others, helped rediscover him.
                American soldiers returning from the Second World War made it possible to reestablish the reputation and popularity of #Faulkner.
                Do we, the descendants, know better than our forefathers, the contemporaries? Or are we doing just as bad a job of evaluating  artistic expression in our own times? Do the right artists always "float to the top" after their deaths? Or have some gone unnoticed and finally forgotten? Which ones are we missing out on now?
                As a matter of fact, why do artists who go against the grain in one generation often become the darlings of the next?

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