Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Infinite Art: The Bottom Ten

As March Madness 2018 continues its glittering cavalcade of Art Tournament high-fliers -- and, by the way, have you let all your friends, family, and business acquaintance know about the Caillebotte v. Degas and Escher v. Van der Weyden matches, in which their votes, too, can count? -- but where was I?  Ah, yes: Today, we take time out for a special shout-out to the ten artists who fared worst in Tournament play!

Now, a clever person like yourself is immediately going to say "But wait a minute, Michael5000.  Since the Tournament is still happening -- still, thrillingly, happening -- how can we know who fared the worst?  Well!  Keep in mind that all of the First Round and Left Bracket First Round matches have been concluded.  That means that everyone who is going to go two-and-out has already done so.  So, while we still eagerly look forward to cheering on the victors, we can already review the bottom ten.  I think most of us will have to concede that even these guys who ended up at the bottom -- most of them can paint better than we can.  Paint, or... whatever it is that Josef Beuys does.

Josef Beuys
1921 - 1986
0-2, 4 votes for - 24 votes against.  "Batting Average": .143
Lost to: Bernini, Bingham.
Beuys suggested, in both his teaching and in his mature "action" and sculptural artworks, that "art" might not ultimately constitute a specialized profession but, rather, a heightened humanitarian attitude, or way of conducting one's life, in every realm of daily activity. In this regard, Beuys's work signals a new era in which art has increasingly become engaged with social commentary and political activism.
-The Art Story

Max Hermann Pechstein
1881 - 1955
0-2, 3-18, .143
Lost to: Patenier, Perugino
Pechstein... represents a bolder, more coloristic vein of expressionism.... [He] was the most eclectic of the Brucke group, capable of notable individual paintings which, however, go from one style to another.
- History of Modern Art

Charles-François Daubigny
1817 - 1878
0-2, 4-26, .133
Lost to: Dali, Cuyp
French painter whose landscapes introduced into the naturalism of the mid-19th century an overriding concern for the accurate analysis and depiction of natural light through the use of colour, greatly influencing the Impressionist painters of the late 19th century.
- Britannica

Mark Tobey
1890 - 1976
0-2, 3-20, .130
Lost to: Titian, Tintoretto
Through Tobey, American painting came to be influenced by Far Eastern calligraphy. In 1934, on a visit to Shanghai, Tobey, who had begun as a portrait painter, became aware of the possibilities of abstract imagery offered by Chinese script. Out of that animated but superbly controlled calligraphy he developed the fleet brushwork of his "white writing" to express the vibrancy of life in great cities and in nature.
- 200,000 Years of World Painting

1581 - 1641
0-2, 3-21, .125
Lost to: Donatello, Dossi
His art is happiest when not concerned with action but with idealizing figures and landscape into calmly classical compositions -- and it was to have a considerable impact on Poussin.
- 200,000 Years of World Painting

Stefan Lochner
1442 - 1451
0-2, 3-21, .125
Lost to: Lissitzky, Filippino Lippi
Lochner became one of Cologne’s greatest painters, combining naturalism with a masterful sense of colour and design into a festal solemnity of representation. His work forms perhaps the most successful visual interpretation of late medieval German mysticism before Grünewald.
- Britannica

Simon Vouet
1590 - 1649
0-2, 2-16, .111
Lost to: de Vlaminck, Vigée Le Brun
Simon Vouet stands for the most courtly, decorative side of art in France under Louis XIII. At the same time his free handling and brilliant coloring look forward to the decorative achievements of the following century....
- 200,000 Years of World Painting

Ad Reinhardt
1913 - 1967
0-2, 2-20, .091
Lost to: Rego, Rauschenberg
Ad Reinhardt, one of the pioneer American abstractionists, painted in a geometric, rectangular style since the late 1930s. He was one of the most brilliant and individual minds among post-war avant-garde American painters....
- History of Modern Art

Jean Fautrier
1898 - 1964
0-2, 2-22, .083
Lost to: Feininger, Fantin-Latour
Many artists, Wols and Pollock among them, have been driven by their inner tension to set down a highly expressive kind of calligraphy; others, and in particular Fautrier, give themselves over completely to the material they work with and voluntarily permit it to dictate what they are to do. In both cases, creativity springs from unplumbed realms of human feeling and the conscious will plays no part. Fautrier was one of those who chose to explore and to exploit the richly expressive possibilities of their materials.
- 200,000 Years of World Painting

Jack Butler Yeats
1871 - 1957
0-2, 1-19, .050
Lost to: Wyeth, Wright of Derby
[The] most important Irish painter of the 20th century....
After his death, critics often dismissed Yeats’s work as irrelevant, but a 1971 exhibition of his paintings at the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin helped to revive his reputation as an important artist.
- Britannica


UnwiseOwl said...

All of them (except possibly Reinhardt) can definitely art more excellently than me, even if they're all losers.

Morgan said...

I think quite a few of these were a victim of seeding, rather than poor painters. Especially Yeats, yeesh!

My vote goes to Daubigny.

Michael5000 said...

Daubigny's faceplant has long outraged/amused me, for sure. And although a few of these guys bore me -- Vouet, especially -- none of them are among the artists that I thought really stink, or more precisely that I thought undeserving of serious interest. A few of those, of course, have been quite successful!

As far as seeding goes, Lochner and Beuys were pretty spectacularly outgunned too. Next time we do an art tournament, we need several thousand competitors to mix things up more.

boonec1974 said...

Can't wait for the reseeded tourney. My worst of the worst vote goes to Fautrier: yuck. My favorite goes to Lochner. He's going to rock the reseed!