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Saturday, September 20, 2014

JMW TURNER"S WORK: Unfinished?!

"Might not be finished." (Gratuitous, "I told you so!" ahead)

  Narrator, Alistaire Sook suggests in this Telegraph UK Video that JMW Turner's work, "Norham Castle, Sunrise," might not be a finished painting. I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. Why?   

                      Because I TOLD YOU SO! :D
                                 (Gloating is an unattractive habit of mine.)

   The sentiment is repeated in the article from the same page by 
Ju Zhang, " exhibition at Tate Britain, Late Turner - Painting Set Free looks at the way that Turner's health and his increasing infirmity may have affected the way he painted in his later years. It asks us to look hard at the paintings and question whether they are as the artist intended, or whether some that we most love are simply unfinished." JU Zhang
FULL ARTICLE:    Click Here

   Exactly, and that's why I get the urge to finish the works of the early impressionists. No, I wont touch them. Darnit! Yes, I do have that much of an ego, and it irks me, because they had more talent than they used. At least that's my perception, and it's apt to be wrong, but....why stop?

   Since I'm on a opinion roll.....Enjoy this image of
 "Norham Castle, Sunrise," by JMW Turnercourtesy Wikimedia Commons,while I rev it up. 
"Joseph Mallord William Turner 062" by J. M. W. Turner - The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH.. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons -

   Nobody seems to like hearing that I think early impressionism was a matter of unfinished work (Wonder why? ;) ), and of course I wouldn't dare touch the pieces, but seriously. Blurry underpaintings are lovely all on their own, and I'm not the first to think so. 

   That little group of artists (The first Impressionists) who I think didn't want to finish their paintings got them in the Salon. I see what I see, and I think it was a con. Turner, however wasn't. His work was thorough. I look at the above work, and I can tell it's Turner by the beginnings of "his" light, but I'm left waiting for the finish. In fact, if it were a finished piece, I might have named it, "Cliff Hanger." I can't be sure what, if anything happened.This particular piece may have been the result of a sudden eye disorder, or he left the work before finishing for some reason. It's undoubtedly beautiful, but finished? No, I don't think so. 

    Caviat: If you are in an art class, and questions come up on a test regarding this work, insist that it *is finished, and he did this on purpose. (Roll your eyes in private.) Also the Impressionists were, "Geniuses" (at more than just telling others what they were supposed to like in art.) #KeepAntacidsHandy Throughout art history, new movements have made great breakthroughs and set the establishment on it's ear. It's my opinion that it needed to happen, and I'm glad the Impressionists came along for that reason. I think we may have gone too far though, throwing the proverbial, "Baby out with the bathwater." I'm of the feeling that all art is needed past, present and future. Even Impressionism has been set aside with the company of Realism by the likes of Post Modernism and Op Art. Change is certain and of it's own comfort. Like music, dance and any other art form painting must surely change as new materials and technologies as well as new minds develop with new social systems play into their artworks. I may romanticize the ARC (Art Renewal Center), and that's fine, but there is a richness to the totality of art through the ages. 

   Keep in mind, I love the Impressionists, and I do think they were geniuses of their craft. I also loved The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. What can I say? I think they pulled a, "Fast one," (Just like every other new art movement or new take on a mouse trap. And who's to say that isn't what I or any other artist is doing? Trying to invent ways to create our own, never done before, niche, or at least to do what was done before but better?) I have a soft spot for cons, magicians, alchemists and angels, and as and artist, I'm a little of all of these things even if only on a canvas.

  Turner, Constable and Church were some of favorite landscape artists. To say this one holds such significance is to spotlight one of his lesser works, and we all have them. Somewhere beyond the grave, I'm sure he wishes he'd finished this one.
There! I said it! :p

tina jones

  If you'd like to see a really cool site on Impressionism, check this out: Impressionism.Org