Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Art Tournament at Four

That's right, today is

The Fourth Anniversary of the Infinite Art Tournament!!

( the sense of the actual Tournament, not the blog. The blog dates back to the 1830s)

Can you believe it has been four years?  I sure can!  Running the Tournament has required about as much time so far, and effort, as college. What I have a harder time believing is that it is well over a year since Halfway Week, which in my scattered memory seems like it was only a few months ago. But that's time for you.

Who's winning?

Back at the halfway point, I gave some first thoughts on the natural question of "Who's winning?" Now as then, it is impossible to say.  There's still plenty of artists still waiting for their Tournament debut, and if all other artists are going to be swept aside in the triumphant wake of Parmiagianino, or Patenier, or Pechstein, Perugino, Picabia, or Picasso, it will still be a while until we see the first signs.

There are now 183 artists -- 37% of the field -- who have already dropped out of the running. Among these, the leader is still Antonello da Messina, whose 2-1-1 record (he was forced out by a grudge match tie) included 35 votes in favor and only 15 against.  That's an impressive .700 batting average. Boccioni (3-2, 42-23, .646) and and Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (3-2-1, 47-30, .610) still hold the second and third spots. Rounding out the top ten:
  • 4. Dali: 2-2-1, 41-28, .594 
  • 5. Giacometti: 2-2, 27-19, .587
  • 6. Bazille: 4-2, 44-31, .587
  • 7. Gris: 2-2, 27-22, .551 
  • 8. J Bruegel: 4-2, 43-26, .544
  • 9. Donatello: 2-2, 27-23, .540
  • 9. Hepworth: 2-2, 27-23, .540

(The artists who have fared worst so far  are Fautriet (.090), Domenichino (.125), and Lochner (.125); it's nice to be able to take poor Daubigney (.133) out of this list.)

But those are the mighty among the fallen, and one thing we know about all of them is that they can't possibly reach the final rounds

Among the eight undefeated artists that have entered the semi-finals so far, however, here are the Big Three at the moment:

3 (replacing Mary Cassatt, and .0009 ahead of Frederick Church): Gustave Caillebotte (59-21, .737)

2. Albrecht Dürer (44-10, .814)

1. Pieter Bruegel (50-10, .833)

We won't be moving on to the Sixth Round until the First Round is nearly or entirely finished, so these guys are going to be hard to knock out of their positions for a year or so yet to come.

Are we almost done?

Nah.  We're only about 67% done with the First Round, 62% done with Round 2, 60% with Round 3, and 47% with Round 4.  And that's only the Right bracket; the Left Bracket always and necessarily lags behind.  There's a whole lot more art left to evaluate.

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