Modern art evokes more emotion
16 September 2009 3 Comments
A Miller-McCune brief alerts us to a survey recently published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts. That sounds like something I need to subscribe to. It also sounds like something over my head.
The survey, conducted by the University of Rome, suggests — I can’t make myself use the word “concludes” when they only talked to 137 people — that visitors to museums exhibiting modern art are more likely to engage the artwork emotionally, while those viewing classical works use their brains.
A sound work of art will invite a viewer to employ both their emotions and cognitive skills. Both are valid responses; as humans we’re both emotional and thinking creatures. Imagining myself walking through a gallery, I can’t separate my own responses. A well crafted still life or portrait elicits just as much emotion as a modern work, and vice versa.
Some artwork will, admittedly, evoke emotion more easily than others. And that’s OK. The model for the following sculpture was the sculptor’s six year old daughter. In the context of the title of the work, it’s entirely appropriate.
Guernica by French artist René Iché. Image from Wikipedia.