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Salient: Victoria University Students' Paper. Vol. 30, No. 6. 1967.

Art cannon of beauty

Art cannon of beauty

On April 4, a lecture on The Paris School since 1900 was given by Douglas McDyarmot, a New Zealand painter now living in France. The lecture was in two parts, the first dealing with a philosophy of art, and the second the actual School, or rather, as he pointed out, painting in France since 1900.

He opened by stressing "art as a link and not as a pretty picture; the canon of beauty is a limitation." He went on to point out that the development of contemporary art was based on a "liberty" granted to artists. "Having reported accurately throughout the centuries, they can now let photographs, which are faster and more accurate, take their place. Artists can now represent the inner consciousness, human imagination—liberty.

"The standards of art. of liberty, are wide—they give more scope for the poor artist but also room for specialisation. A painter such as Bernard Buffet has tricks-deadly repetition of straight lines—a good businessman, a is Picasso.. Art worlds today are full of stupidity and pretensions—every artist believes himself to be a 'message bearing genius'—Some, however. are not sure of the message. Artists should be humble. For a painter one touch of colour should be enough to illuminate or destroy his creation."

In comparing New Zealand to Prance he said that New Zealanders should not suffer from inferior feelings. 'In Franco, there is a continual struggle for the reconstltution of some past period—the rage at present is for Louis XIII furniture. New Zealand's way to the past is less heavy to bear and encourages; favourable use of present resources. You want to be thoroughly alive in France as in New Zealand but you will be in the minority. You must get at the heart of your reason —insist on what you want and get the best and most of everything presented.

Mr. McDyarmot explained that the term "School of Paris" was first applied to a group of five foreigners in France: Modigliani (Italian), Pascin (Bulgarian). Chagall (Russian), Soutine (Lithuanian), and Kisling (Pole). They were contemporary with the Cubists but were lyricists. individualists. The term now covers all painting of Paris.

Mr. McDyarmot then discussed individual artists. showing slides of their works —Picasso. Gris, Modigliani, Soutine. the Surrealists Hartung, de Stael, Du Buffet, the Cobra Group (Jorn, Appel, Alechinsky) and finished with a comment on Pop and Op "art."