Did Painting As a Contemporary Art Form Actually Die
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Did Painting As a Contemporary Art Form Actually Die?

Painting has been declared dead many times over the last 150 to 200 years. The art form has been affected by not only technological progress but also psychological evolution, concerning the development of visual analogy by the artists of differing timelines. Accounting to the prehistoric era of wall paintings, the invention of paper and fabric caused a palpable drift in the designing, representation, and reproduction of a myriad of regional motifs. Similarly, with changing times, Renaissance art gave a creative road to human emotions over religious connotations. The dejection of the pre-existing beliefs carved new ways, leaving the old logic in the historic literature. Did painting as a contemporary art form actually die?

The First blow on the painting

But according to the book, Painting Now by Susan Hudson, the art form of painting was affected by two historical up-gradation. According to Hudson, the first blow on the painting was due to the invention of the camera in the 1830s, originating the art form of photography. With realism taken care of, painting no longer served the purpose of making portraiture for the royal figures of the society. However, artists were at the brink of altering the Baroque values, rewarding painting with concepts, and socio-political themes. This reinvented the painting as a perpetual art practice.

The second blow on the painting

The second blow according to Hudson’s research was Marcel Duchamp’s undaunted approach with the values of Dadaism. Placing a urinal (Fountain, 1917) in the exhibition space thawed the traditional thought process of making and thinking. Duchamp and Dadaist artists exempted the importance of hand and skill in the artistic process through the employment of readymade objects.

The successive movements

The successive movements like impressionism, neo-impressionism, Orphism, Fauvism, Cubism strengthened the culture of painting. But time had different plans. Rather the course had innovative motives in nurturing the art form in society. The expansion of performance art, public art, video art accessioned paintings as a prop over its individual identity. But painting sustained!

Nevertheless, the recent boom in the market has also distorted the elements of the painting. Jean Michael Basquiat is a contemporary painter whose painting, Untitled, sold a whopping 110.5 million dollars. The impressionist painters still rule the art economy, which triggers the practitioner for their livelihood. So, Did painting as a contemporary art form actually die?

Painting has undergone a long ordeal through the pretext of socio-cultural, economic, and political transitions. What we see today carries the genes of yesterday’s practice. The mark on the surface has evolved into learning and probing the surface of the marks. Thus, the conclusion to the title question will continue to bother us in times to come!

Read Further:

Is Painting Dead by BBC