One of the things that makes art history so interesting to me is that it has always seemed to be in a state of flux. Some call it shifting sands, others see it as a regular, rhythmic swinging of a pendulum, others as something on the order of rocking the boat. Whatever the case there is movement, back and forth, often from one extreme to another. In early periods some of these shifts came over a period of a hundred years or so as in the development of the High Renaissance out of the Early Renaissance, and that from medieval painting, etc. As time has progressed, the swings in taste and style have become more and more generational. That is, sons rejecting out of hand that which their fathers did, simply because their fathers did it.
In this century, where once these swings took at least a generation, movements rose and fell in a decade, often less, as the pace of life and change picked up, dragging with it the pace of change in art as well. Inevitably, if change begins to happen rapidly enough the swings back and forth become so rapid that they can no longer be seen, like wiper blades on an exceedingly rainy night. The effect is to, in fact, STABILIZE art rather than move it in different directions. And that, I think is what we are coming to see today.
The artists appearing below have all been a part of this vacillating march through time. What began as a plodding during the Renaissance, has accelerated today into a sprint. Innovation and standing apart from one's peers as an artist has never been easy, even when there was a lot of innovation yet to be done. There is an element of luck, a lot of hard work, exceptional intelligence, creative effort, showmanship, and necessity, the mother of invention, in each story. The history of art has an ebb and flow, but it is also written in vignettes. These are but a few...
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