Art Quote of the Day

“ART THAT TAKES TIME. Another kind of art that cannot be easily made in modern art schools is whatever takes more than a few months to complete.  It took Seurat two years to paint the Grande Jatte, which was not an unusual amount of time for a major painting in Renaissance and academic practice.  Imagine, though what would have happened to Seurat  if he had been in a contemporary  studio critique.  (Here I’m imagining Seurat talking to his painting teacher.)

well, Georges, I see that you’re still working on the same piece we saw last semester.


it looks about the same

– well I changed some figures a little , and I’m working on the color balance according to  my theory of —-

– yes, well , wahtever theories you use are up to you . Whatever makes the art work. But I don’t see anything  ELSE.

– I finished my last oil sketch last year

I think we need to see much more.. More drawings, more “oil sketches,” maybe even a sculpture.  Let yourself go. Experiment. Try quick studies, draw from the model. Your figures look frozen.

– I’m interested in that kind of static look

Well, I like the awkward quality, but you’re bogged down. You’ve been looking at THE SAME PAINTING for over a year!


If Seurat were a contemporary student, his painting might be admired for its strangeness, but it is difficult to imagine him  getting good critiques for two  consecutive years of work on a single canvas: after all, two years is the entirety of an average M.F.A. Program.  Studio art instruction just isn’t geared for long-term projects. ”

Why Art Cannot Be Taught by James Elkins

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