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Monday, August 25

Provoked? That's art for you

You could cut'n'paste comments about the supposed 'fury' surrounding the split-second inclusion of Marcus Harvey's 'Myra' painting in a Visit Britain promo shown in Beijing with those received at the time by surrealists, cubism, pop-art and impressionism. Such is art.

The Salon des Refusés, French for “exhibition of rejects”, is generally an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, but the term is most famously used to refer to the Salon des Refusés of 1863. As early as the 1830’s, Paris art galleries had mounted small-scale, private exhibitions of works rejected by the Salon jurors. The clamorous event of 1863 was actually sponsored by the French government. In that year, artists protested the Salon jury’s rejection of more than 3,000 works, far more than usual. "Wishing to let the public judge the legitimacy of these complaints," said an official notice, Emperor Napoléon III decreed that the rejected artists could exhibit their works in an annex to the regular Salon. Many critics and the public ridiculed the refusés, which included such famous paintings as Édouard Manet's Luncheon on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe) and James McNeill Whistler's Girl in White. But the critical attention also legitimized the emerging avant-garde in painting. Encouraged by Manet, the Impressionists successfully exhibited their works outside the Salon beginning in 1874. Subsequent Salons des Refusés were mounted in Paris in 1874, 1875, and 1886, by which time the prestige and influence of the Paris Salon had waned.
"Although he's grouped together with the YBAs (Young British artists) who are well known for their shock tactics and love of publicity, Marcus couldn't be less like that. When he did the painting he felt he was making a serious art work that would provoke discussion about a difficult subject, not outrage."
From FirstPost.

Maybe once Marcus is dead it might actually 'provoke discussion'. Right now we seem to prefer ritualised stoning.
A 'senior government source' (Jowell?) told Sky News: "whoever was responsible must be found and fired immediately."
And if the irony wasn't already several layers thick:
A spokesman for Boris Johnson said the Mayor was "deeply disturbed".


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