The Three C’s in Art: Concept, Content and Context (1)

Yves giving the talk

Art is just a matter of faith!

Lecture given by Prof. Yves M. Larocque in the context of New York Art Trip 2012 (March 8-11)

This lecture explores three elements—concept, content and context—through which we can explore and become more aware of the aesthetics (beauty and creativity) of a work of art.  Here a few excerpts:

“Several architect friends have told me that architecture is simpler than painting because it relies on clear laws of physics, including those related to gravity, mass and force, while in painting “there are no laws.” One day, one of my students knowing this called me to say that he had seen a painting with five vanishing points—which are points in a drawing or painting at which parallel lines appear to converge—and he wondered if it was okay to use so many points. My answer? It depends on several factors, the most important being the artist’s intention and knowledge. Did the artist aim to manipulate the pictorial space in that way, or did he do it with no knowledge of such points? Simply put, if the artist used multiple vanishing points while misinformed about the basic rules of perspective, then the painting was unskilfully executed. But if the artist decided to ignore the rules of perspective to convey a particular meaning through the painting, then it was all right. For example, Picasso’s Demoiselles d’Avignon has many viewpoints, which is one of the reasons this large canvas ranks among the most revered works in art history. You can do anything in painting; it depends on choice and end result.”

“We may conclude that there is no absolute truth in the value of art. Art, like religion, is a matter of faith; faith in what you believe and in what you do as a painter.”

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