The art world is ever changing and evolving. Different movements, groups of people, ideas and values change and evolve throughout time.
It's fascinating to look into and to have an almost visual map of the great thinkers and collaborators thorough-out history and what was important to them.
- Like vintage photographs or fashion styles through the decades you can group in your mind the period from which the art came and the different influences.
It's quite engrossing to see how different thinkers have inspired each other in the art world and also how historical events had impact on these artists...
- to list a limited few from a vast rich history; The Dadaist movement in relation to WW1. Their collective response and the questions their art intended to raise.
The absurdity of it, breaking down the constraints of what art is (Marcel Duchamp's - Fountain), thus going on to partially inspire the Surrealism movement, which was also significantly inspired by writings of Sigmund Freud, artists from the past too, notably, Hieronymus Bosch.
To artworks that singularly document atrocities. The Guernica (1937) - an intimidatingly huge painting of utter despair. Pablo Picasso painted in reaction the Spanish Civil War.
More recently, Anselm Kiefer's work (Walhalla exhibition 2016) a confrontation, a reminder, of the bleak atrocity of World War 2.
It's also interesting to see the way art has been condemned in the past.
Seized, laughed at (Degenerate Art) and destroyed.
Art is a great visual tool for compacting slices of history - encapsulating them so we can hopefully learn from them. We can remember the art that shocked, the art that protested, caused controversy, which ideas were revolutionary, and how new ways of thinking were formed.
Changes in society continue to create a more liberal tolerance on what is deemed 'acceptable' art. Or even, who can be considered an 'Artist'. Which was the reason I originally started writing this post.
I originally intended to write about women in art (or the lack thereof) and it raised a few questions within myself about how art has shaped through time - How change is a constant. How history, events and artist groups can move things forward.
I can currently see change happening for more female representation in the art world (and hopefully in other fields too). A result of historical changes. Women in many respects have been held back and repressed but change is happening (slowly). I am grateful.