Sometimes, I get caught in the same trap a lot of folks who hate Modern Art get caught in - THAT'S NOT ART!!! It happens, from time to time, and usually it's me applying my own sense of artistic values to pieces that exist outside of them. In fact, at that point, I'm doing what critics did to the Impressionists, failing to realise that the artist is saying something more. At that same time, I'm completely and totally guilty of the opposite. Not everyone who hates the things I love hates Art; they just have a different set of values. While I have no interest in paintings that depict the world faithfully (for the most part), I need to be reminded that there are others to whom that is all that art is. To me, that's craft, and craft nearly universally bores me. When I look at early Warhol commercial work (and anyone who doubts his talents in drawing and drafting need only seek them out and see how amazing he was) I'm bored; but give me a silkscreen, something that takes a tiny fraction of the craft that those drawings would have, and I applaud knowing that I'm witnessing something with real depth.
That said, I hate Erdnase by Tony DeLap. I hate, hate, hate it.
It is a black painting, which in the right context can be fine with me, but it is on a canvas that is mostly round with a bulge. Earth-Nose is what Erdnase means when you translate it from the German, and in fact, the earth is not a perfect sphere, but has several bulges. The canvas has what appear to be two bulges, but that second one towards the top may be a trick of the eye.
This is a shaped canvas work, though not nearly in the same league as the ones in the section across the way populated with folks like Frank Stella. The canvas' shape is all there is, and maybe that's the point of giving us only the matte black of the paint on the misshapen canvas. but that's all there is. There is nothing for me to grab on to other than the fact that I speak a little German and get that aspect. Still, to me, this ain't Art, but I also understand that it's in a museum, has been curated, judged to be Art, and I need to accept that. Doesn't mean I have to like it, though; all art ain't for everyone.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.