Gavan Reilly

thinking out loud

On art

with 4 comments

In the last week I’ve happened to find myself in two different museums – the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Kilmainham, Dublin, and the rather excellent Ulster Museum at the Botanic Gardens in Belfast (the latter comes particularly recommended – it’s basically a Best Of museum with brilliant stuff across all disciplines).

Two thoughts struck me as I wandered around both:

– Isn’t there something sad about the fact that, although having a famous artist’s collections distributed around the world means more people have greater access to them, you can’t go to any one place to see an entire artist’s collection? I was meant to be in Amsterdam earlier this week (cheers, Eyjafjallajokull). It would make sense that I would be able to take in the entire collection of Piet Mondrian – an artist whose works have always been particularly striking to me – while in his hometown, or at least his home country. Yet, I saw some of his stuff in MoMA, New York, and more of it in IMMA last week.

Isn’t it sad that there aren’t individual go-to places for this kind of stuff? To me it’s a shame that there’s nowhere where you can see every non-privately owned Warhol / da Vinci / Monet/ Mondrian / whoever.

– Being a geek, and as something of a corollary to the first thought, it strucke me as a shame that that whatever about the merits of having all an artist’s work in one place (because, fair enough, people are allowed to have private collections in one place or another) – why isn’t more of an effort made to harness the internet in allowing people enjoy art from a distance? Why should I have to go to IMMA or the Ulster Museum or MoMA to enjoy a piece of art on tour? Why can’t the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation reproduce graphics of every piece of work the guy painted?

And, more pressingly, why don’t more people create more art for the internet? It seems to me that nobody creates artistic exhibitions made directly for the screen (other than in video form, but I mean in the more traditional sense of exhibition – static artwork and words, etc).

Here’s an idea: make an exhibition that instead of being limited to one place at any one time, exists everywhere for everyone to see. Set up a website, ask people to hit F11 and click the ‘Enter’ link, and use the screen to create and showcase art.

It’s something I’ve been pondering, and something I might revisit. Watch this space.

(And yes, I haven’t blogged in ages. Suffice it to say I’ve been sleeping up.)

Written by Gav

May 21st, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Posted in The Arts,The Internet

Tagged with , ,

4 Responses to 'On art'

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  1. Good idea that they should curate online collected works of famous artists like Mondrian, Manet, Klee and others so people can click and view the entire oeuvre of someone they are studying. It would be very expensive from a security and insurance angle to assemble in one gallery all the works of Rembrandt or Leonardo for a bumper exhibition. One aspect of becoming a famous painter is that people from the four corners get to buy your works, and artists gladly sell to distant customers in order to earn a good living. Many living artists have families to feed and rent and bills to play.

    I agree with the idea for artists to create specially for internet exhibitions. That sort initiative is awaiting a group of Salon des Refusés artists to take up. There are many more arts centres and galleries in Ireland thanks to government funding during the boom years, but many up-and-coming artists don’t get selected for gallery shows. I’ve met a woman who sells her works entirely on the internet, and she’s doing well for herself. She’s self-taught too.


    21 May 10 at 11:16 pm

  2. Aw gee, did I really write “rent and bills to play”?

    Either I was dog tired after watching a late night movie on telly while drinking a €3.99 bottle of Spanish rioja, or that ‘play’ with rent and bills was a freudian slip. Or maybe playing with bills is like staring at a Magritte painting: Ceci ce n’est pas une pipe (blip?)


    22 May 10 at 10:41 am

  3. But when you think about it, have you EVER – even briefly – looked, listened to or studied any painter’s, composer’s or author’s work?

    But I do think your online art gallery thing sounds like a good idea.

    No doubt we might see iGallery or eArt somewhere in the future. Does code count as art?

    Colin Sweetman

    15 Sep 11 at 12:58 am

  4. Colin Sweetman

    6 Apr 12 at 8:51 pm

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