Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Can Franz von Stuck Bring the Idea of the “Big” Artist Back?
“I am big,” Gloria Swanson’s fading film star Norma Desmond says in Sunset Boulevard. “It’s the pictures that got small.” Have we lost the “big” artist, the artist who tackled the big ideas of truth and life whose name stood on the tip of everyone’s tongue regardless of class or nationality? Franz von Stuck, known in the late 19th century as Munich’s “painter prince,” belonged to the highest rank of artistic royalty at the time, yet today his name’s as faded as that of most silent film stars. If we’ve lost not just such “big” artists of the past, but also the capacity to allow such “big” artists in the future, what have we also lost in the exchange of big pictures for small? On the 150th anniversary of von Stuck’s birth and the 120th anniversary of his American debut, the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington, presents the exhibition Franz von Stuck (which runs through February 2, 2014), which recreates not just von Stuck’s art, but also the culturally charged atmosphere that powered the Gesamtkunstwerk—the total work of art that captures the total human condition. Can Franz von Stuck bring the idea of the “big” artist back? Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Can Franz von Stuck Bring the Idea of the 'Big' Artist Back?"