return to, the home of critical reviews

Discursive Art

From:     JJJ
Category: Art
Date:     29 September 2009
Time:     05:37 AM


One definition of intelligence is to be able to keep two opposing ideas in mind at the same time. 
Discursive art doesn't have to be some found object with bogus concepts tacked on. It can be a great 
portrait, such as Velazquez's Las Meninas, where  the painter expresses many seemingly 
contradictory attitudes such as satire, flattery, realism, idealisation. The excitement of many great 
works of art lies partly in their discursive quality, they do not say I love/I hate the King, they say here is 
the king and here are some of things I think about him. Internally, within a picture, different 
subjects/elements may also be shown with differing views, to take a simple example the painter may 
employ a journalistic device of having the courtier, princess, dwarf, and artist all expressing different 
thoughts/ relationships to being painted, or to the King and Queen.

I think that the idea that a painter must only say what they say feel in a painting is extremely reductive 
and has no basis in the history of art.

return to, the home of critical reviews