The potential to shock, challenge and provoke is crucial to art's claims for significance. (08/08/2012)
If that is what you think is crucial, then it's hardly surprising that modern art is so focused on transgression.
But artists haven't always taken the modernist view. One of my favourite Australian painters, Hans Heysen, explained himself this way:
I cannot help feeling that my heart lies with these men who see intense and almost religious beauty in simple Nature that surrounds us in the beauty of the skies and the mystery of the earth.
Again, it is no surprise that Heysen created a painting like the following:
|Droving into the light, 1914-1921|
Heysen also produced tranquil scenes of domestic life that simply wouldn't fit into the modernist idea of art as transgression:
|Sewing (the artist's wife) 1913|