It’s almost kind of like a blank canvas with some,
like some texture.
I do see a white dot there but I don’t know if that’s supposed to be there.
It looks like something I would cook on, like a baking sheet.
Could be a lot of flies stuck to a bit of paper.
Yeah, ’cause I would put this down on my floor,
my floor tiles.
These people are describing Robert Ryman’s painting “Bridge”.
It sold for $20.6 million at a Christie’s auction in 2015.
How is an all-white painting considered art,
and why would anyone shell out millions for something like this?
There are a lot of these “white paintings.”
Many people trace them back to Kazimir Malevich’s 1918 work “White on White.”
But there are many artists who created these kinds of paintings:
Most of these artists were associated with an art movement
called minimalism, which emerged in the late 1950s.
When I say the minimalists
I mean minimalism with a capital M, not a lowercase.
This is Elisabeth Sherman, she’s an assistant curator
at the Whitney Museum in New York.
It’s tempting to look at one of these paintings
and think that some jerk just took a tube of white paint
and spread it on a canvas ,
but it’s not actually that easy.
I mean mine rules, obviously,
我是说 显然 这是我的看法
because I’m a f****** genius,
but there’s usually a lot more than meets the eye.
White isn’t really a pure thing.
White is always tinted in some way.
Paint is made up of a variety of pigments.
If you’ve ever painted the walls of your house,
you know how many different whites there are
to choose from.
And maybe if you only look at one it looks like pure white,
but when you hold them up in an array you can see the subtle differences.
It’s blue, it’s green, it’s purple, it’s warm, it’s cold.
偏蓝 偏绿 偏紫 偏暖 偏冷
And when you get close—
Not too close, there’s a lot going on here.
Lines, texture, patterns, even color.
线条 纹理 图案 甚至色彩
There are a lot of subtle intricacies that make it more
than “just a white canvas.”
Minimalist artists wanted their work to embody order, simplicity, and harmony.
These artists began with these ideas as a rejection
of abstract expressionism.
Abstract expressionism was a movement of artists in the 1940s and 50s
who thought that art should be gestural, expressive, and emotional,
evoking the unconscious mind through movement and color.
So if we think about Jackson Pollock as being kind of
the Abstract Expressionist that many people think of,
you can take that picture of him with the canvas
on the floor of his studio
spilling paints everywhere,
and it’s his gesture, it’s his physical body, it’s his arm, it’s who he is as a person
是他的姿势 他的手臂 他的个人
that’s creating that canvas, that painting.
Minimalists weren’t about that.
All that paint splashing everywhere?
There was a lot of desire to get away from that sensibility
where the individual’s expression was put into the canvas.
The idea was that the art object — be it sculpture or painting
be it sculpture or painting or installation —
无论是雕塑 画作 还是装置——
should kind of
be as far removed from the author as possible.
You can see what she means when you compare the two schools of art.
Okay, you get it.
Minimalist artists stripped art of the burden of being about “something else.”
They presented art not as an imitation of reality
but as an object unto itself.
Artist Frank Stella summed it up nicely when he said,
One of my favorite things about modern art is the rage that it seems to provoke in some
Cue videos of men freaking out:
I’m not gonna sit there and try to find a meaning
in a red circle on a blank white canvas,
’cause I’m not gonna find any meaning.
I may not understand art but I do understand the English language,
and that’s pretentious nonsense.
Did you see the painting that was just a white painting
that had nothing on it?
It’s like super pretentious meets uber pretentious.
Modern art sets. people. off.
And believe me when I say that I am here for it.
But with modern art, by definition every interpretation is genuine and legitimate and okay.
但现代艺术的含义就是每一种解读都是真实 合法 正确的
Or not, how about not?
I love it.
There’s even an entire play about a group of lifelong friends
who are torn apart when one of them
buys an all-white painting for $200,000.
With a very kind of absent blank painting you have to do a lot more work in some ways
than maybe you have to do with, let’s say, pop art
that has tons of obvious references
and you see the Coca-Cola or the American flag
and you can say, I have all of these relationships
with these objects with these brands with these things.
When you’re looking at simply a square of white paint,
you have to do a lot more work,
but sometimes there maybe is something more rewarding in the end.
Another common reaction to modern art,
specifically minimalist pieces like white paintings is,
c’mon, say it with me now,
” I could do that.”Good .
Almost no matter what show I’ve worked on in my career somebody has said that.
在我的职业生涯中 每次上节目 几乎都有人这样说
While there is a lot of skill in a lot of modern and contemporary art
there’s also a lot of art that is more about the idea than it is about skill.
And so yes you could do it but you didn’t.
所以 你也能画出来 但你没有啊
And that may sound obnoxious or flip
but the reality is is that once art begins to live just as much
in the mind as it does in the eye
you have to bring your ideas as well as your physical construction of the work.
White paintings are a fascinating kind of Rorschach test.
They offer viewers an ambiguous, I’m so sorry, but, canvas
to project their own interpretations, emotions, beliefs, and stories onto.
供观众投射他们自己的理解 情感 信念和故事
So if looking at a white painting makes you feel
angry or excited or soothed,
those are all valid responses.
But take a moment to think about why that was your response.
It’s very easy to be dismissive of things that we’re not immediately attracted to.
So if you have a kind of negative gut reaction,
one of defensiveness or fear or anxiety or
maybe try to move past that and see what’s available afterwards.
And it doesn’t have to change your mind,
but it’s sometimes the process of working through that reaction
that you learn the most about the work
but also about yourself.
It’s almost kind of like a blank canvas with some,