http://www.blogger.com/template-edit.g?blogID=27684744 ARTYFACTS: Impressionism and (Scotland!)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Impressionism and (Scotland!)

An opportunity to see over 100 masterpieces by many of the greatest names in Western art: Manet, Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Pissarro, Degas, Whistler, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, and the ______ (FILL IN THE BLANKS WITH THEIR SCOTTISH CONTEMPORARIES). Never heard of the Glasgow Boys? Can you name at of the Scottish Colourists?

The point of this exhibition may not be that intended by its curator. It presents a clear case for Scotland’s third rate status in the history of the visual arts. If you’re a regular visitor to UK galleries you will have see many of these images. As for the Scottish artists, Gurthrie’s tea parties and tennis matches are second rate. There’s one painting of a dull Scottish town so bright and colourful that it looks as though it’s been laughingly transplanted to Provence, and that’s the problem. Scottish Impressionism, in the end, produced little more than pastiches, derivative and far from the French ideal. You can’t just drum up great art from the past just because you fancy a ‘Scottish’ theme this year.

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