“Why Agnes Pelton’s Pretty Paintings Play Well Right Now”

Since I have not blogged much yet I don’t know if I am allowed to repost the entire article and photos from Artsy on my sight but I selected just a few sentences to give you an idea. You can google the above or at least just google the beautiful art of Agnes Pelton. I am responding to what Alina wrote:

“If you believe that everything is good and worthwhile, you don’t really stand for anything at all. Work made from that perspective becomes flattened and anodyne. A reluctance to challenge, investigate, or reconsider aesthetic and social norms leads to diluted sensibilities. Your viewer is left saying, “Oh, a pretty picture,” and moving right along.” Alina Cohen

                 Alina Cohen article, “Why Agnes Pelton’s Pretty Paintings Play Well Right Now”  inadvertently (I hope) puts down most non-western art, non-objective art and spiritual art in the article she wrote about Agnes Pelton. What is wrong with pretty - or beauty for beauty's sake? Beauty helps the body and mind to stay healthy. It can lower blood pressure, especially color field paintings. Color in all types of art has a powerful effect on us. Does art always have to have a social/political agenda to be validated by western art institutions? Does the art world always have to select and nurture only artists who depict their personal suffering (I have seen so much of that)? If what you put your attention to manifests - do you really want all art to focus on the negative conditions in life? It will just keep us looping, needing more imbalance and negativity to sustain meaning in our lives.Maybe people who are having hard times don't want to be reminded of it - they want to be taken away to a world that is anywhere but where they currently are.And maybe because of that, they will feel better – and have the energy to overcome and change their circumstances. I understand that the role of art can be used to challenge current conditions - but who says that excludes the terms pretty and beautiful?

                 Who is Alina to say that when you focus on something pretty, good, and worthwhile alone, you don't stand for anything at all? Maybe Alina has been trained by the current art standards that don't allow for independent thinking in art -especially for women. They have to work so hard to live up to the current male-dominated norms. Because for as long as I have been alive and studied art - especially what is shown in contemporary museums and galleries - it has promulgated dark energy. What a blessing that Agnes followed her own peaceful muse and not outside angst. This is where true individual creativity lies.

                 I applaud the recent shows that focus on spiritual art created by women artists.Usually, I have to look far and wide in museums and galleries to find profoundly beautiful and moving images to experience. I had almost given up. What a joy to stand in front of a huge Hilma af Klint or a small Agnes Pelton painting for as long as I would like. Maybe Alina should move right along and allow these new sensibilities in art institutions to blossom.

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