No Skill No Art

I believe:

that the great mass of the most revered Modern Art masterpieces really consists of comparatively inferior work.
that Modern Art is primarily dependent on talk rather than artistic skill.
that the majority of works of Modern Art created by its so-called masters are easily imitated and surpassed by a vast population of unrecognized artists who are equal or superior in skill but are destined to remain unknown because they lack proper connections.
that Modern Art is a name game and that great prices are only paid for big names regardless of quality.
that at some future time, when tastes change, a new consensus will decide what is worthwhile and the whole edifice of Modern Art will be negatively reassessed.
that the astronomical present prices of so-called-modern-masterpieces will eventually collapse.

A comment I received said "Excellent analysis of the sad state of fine art."

This comment summarizes many others. However I believe that contemporary art is alive and well. Art is not in a sad state, art isn’t dead. What is makes it seem so is that we are less and less able to see fine work in the modern sections of museums. What has declined is the sensibility of those who are considered our most important authorities on great art. In fact there has been at least as much fine work produced this century as in any other. The reasons for this perception is in part described in the essays in my book.


What can be done about museums and critics? I do not advocate that museums cease exhibiting Modern Academic Art. However, I do suggest that in fairness to today's extremes in taste, museums should have two different curators. One for each side of the art debate. They could then compete by means of the artwork they each choose to hang and engage in lively debates. People will then have an opportunity to see the work of both sides of the art debate and decide what they prefer for themselves. If this were to happen the censored approach of the last 60 years would end.
Museums could then hang examples of the finest works which are popular with a large facet of the public. What critics dismiss as illustration, kitsch and commercial will then reappear in museums. Only then will our finest illustrators, nature and scientific artists, cartoonists, animators, comic book artists etc. have an opportunity to have their original work shown to a large audience.
I would also like art reviews to feature the opinions of  two critics who are known to take opposite sides. This would certainly create more interest than the usual dose of ecstatic Artspeak praise reserved for any work exhibiting modern academic conformity.
If you wish to see something other than Modern Academic Art in our major museums, speak out and don't support these institutions.


Some of My Work
Advice for Students
No Skill No Art
An Example of Artspeak
Raising Prices
Behind the behind
Parody and Laughter as Criticism
Critique by Comparison
Good and Evil
Modern Artists I Like
Any Comments?

Home Page


Before the advent of the Internet this kind of criticism was impossible.

Copyright 1997-2002 Mani de Li
Modern Art, Picasso, Matisse, Mondrian, Pollock, de Kooning, Johns, Rothko, Miro, Warhol, Cezanne, Kline, Chagall, Dali, Greenberg, Bauhaus, Barnet Newman, Calder, Castelli, Dubuffet, Duchamp, Gorkey, Guston, Kandinsky, Hans Hofmann, Clement Greenberg, Paul Klee, Motherwell