“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. ”