Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Infinite Art Tournament, Round One: Flavin v. Fontana!

Dan Flavin
1933 - 1996
American



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Lucio Fontana
1899 - 1968
Argentinian



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Vote for the artist of your choice!  Votes go in the comments.  Commentary and links to additional work are welcome.  Polls open for at least one month past posting.

19 comments:

lamanyana said...

Flavin, I think. I like colored lights.

Ann Piper said...

Fontana, baby.

Christine M. said...

Fontana

Elizabeth said...

Neither. Though if you put the neon light bars into the rips in the canvas, that might be fun.

Chuckdaddy said...

"White green blue? No, white green yellow. Yes, perfect. Now blue or green? Blue..."

"And then I make a rip here. Ah no! The rip needed to be over there! My masterpiece is ruined!!!"

In the battle of the lightweights (hah!), I'll go with Dan "Flava" Flavin since those shows would be pretty fun shows to walk around.

Clyde said...

They are both equally guilty of cheapening the very concept of art itself, contributing to the rejection of art as a viable and worthwhile activity by the general public, and the deterioration of societal standards of beauty and quality as a whole. Utter garbage, both of them.

mrs.5000 said...

Hmmm. Fontana by a nose, I'd say.

Michael5000 said...

Clyde: That's as may be, but which one do you like better?

[rimshot]

pfly said...

Um, huh...I guess rips and holes over tubes and colors, Fontana...I guess.

Clyde said...

Oh, all right.

I guess I'd rather gaze at Flavin's lights than some rips in canvas. So... Flavin is least guilty of crimes against art itself.

Michael5000 said...

A sporting answer, Clyde. Welcome to the Tournament.

Morgan said...

Two modern artists, and I like them both! Flavin is orderly. Rows, colors, electricity. Fontana evokes imagery of tension. An animal attacking its prey, or a distressed inmate clawing on the inside walls of his prison. I think I like Flavin's execution better, so I'll vote for him.

Nichim said...

Based solely on the works pictured, I prefer Fontana, and I think his pictures are beautiful. I like Flavin's as well, and I might enjoy them more in a gallery where I could actually bask in their glow, but the first one looks too much like silly CD shelving, so I go with Fontana.

Leonardo Piccioni said...

When did it become a interior design competition? I'd vote to Flavin, because... well, we could understand Fontana's point of view after the first disrupted frame.

DrSchnell said...

Abstain. This is the sort of shit that gives modern art a bad name.

Candida said...

Fontana.

Michael5000 said...

I had been looking forward to the Flavin/Fontana match-up for a long time, because I was very curious what everybody would have to say. I am broadly sympathetic to DrSchnell's contention that "this is the sort of shit that gives modern art a bad name," although Chuckdaddy's assessment of "lightweights" is probably more even-handed and will be, I suspect, the long-term verdict.

Before I had the chance to see pieces by Flavin in person, they looked like projects that would look pretty cool in an engineering student's dorm room, but would be underwhelming as serious art objects. Since then, I've had the chance to see a few, and hoo-boy, my preconception turned out to be right on the money.

I think Fontana did let the intellectual cart get ahead of the craftsmanly horse, but as with much modern art the people who mutter "any child do that" are being naive. You can spend the next year of your life trying to replicate a Fontana torn canvas, and you'll learn a hell of a lot about paint and canvas and why people respect Fontana. I don't have any particular love for this stuff, but it whups it up all over Flavin in my always humble opinion.

While I'm editorializing, I'd like to address Clyde's statement that "They are both equally guilty of cheapening the very concept of art itself." Here's my response: I think a legitimate case could be made that the anointing of artists like these by the sprawling community of artists, curators, museums, publishers, printers, art enthusiasts, galleries, agents, and curators of online art tournaments might "cheapen the very concept of art itself." But, I can not buy into the idea that Dan Flavin and Lucio Fontana are in any way "guilty" of anything. Each did something creative and interesting to himself that happened to find support, enthusiasm, and a certain level of popular acclaim. We should all be so lucky.

Did I say Fontana? Fontana, by a frosty, ice-skating mile.



Michael5000 said...

We have received a vote for Flavin on a Caillebotte postcard.

Michael5000 said...

And Fontana hangs on to the end to win this seesaw battle, 7-6. He'll go on to get routed by Foujita in Round Two. Or, that's my suspicion at least.

I was hoping that Clyde would stick around, weren't you? I think this is the only one he voted in, but he did it with conviction!