Top-10 of sublime art

Under the title ‘beautiful, magnificent, sublime’ press reporter Henny de Lange describes how beauty is creeping back into the contemporary art scene. She does so because of the opening of the exhibition More Light at the Fundatie  in Zwolle. More Light deals with the sublime and how it applies to contemporary art.

The curator Hans den Hartog Jager is quoted as follows:  “There is no objective norm for beauty. Then again, I never meet with people denying the existance of beauty in the arts, either.  …  Apparently we, even taking into account different tastes, were convinced deep in our hearts that these works touched on a certain universal quality. That is when I thought: hey, I must make this exhibition about beauty in contemporary art after all. And I will take this Turner painting as a point of reference.”

Of course, a museum in Zwolle cannot be called mainstream, but the idea of beauty coming back into the art world tickles my fancy anyway. So I did my own research into the Sublime, based upon the list of artists that are represented in More Light. My algorithm for composing a top-10 was as follows:

1. As long as there are names on the More  Light list:
2.      Take (next) name from list
3.      Google name of artist using Google Images
4.       Take first pic:
5.           If  pic relates to Sublime copy pic to blog
6.           else take next pic
7.       go to 2.

I ended up with a series of  images that have ‘the sublime’ written all over them. They are posted below, in rather random order. Go over them with the mouse to find the artists, use my algorithm to reproduce my findings. I will come back to this series of images, but for now these are my conclusions:

1. sublime = nature
2.[ man :  nature ]= [small : big]

Later: how to apply this to my Afsluitdijk work? Sublime nature [not equal to] Dutch nature. Nor does the sublime appeal to  Dutch culture, which prefers to have everybody and everything on one and the same level. Yet there are a number of very convincing Dutch artists on the list below. None of them situate their work in the Dutch outdoors, though.

Later: put my Afsluitdijk drawing in with the list below. Conclusion: there is a sublime quality to Dutch landscape – the clouds. And a heroic quality – the incessant struggle against the elements. How to convey the idea that struggling against the elements is like building a sand castle when the flood is making?


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