Tracy,Does anyone know when some variant of the Artist’s statement begin to appear regurlarly?
At another site someone suggested that it begin in the early 1900s and reached common place status by the 1950s. One person cited Tom Wolfe (in The Painted Word) saying that by the time abstract expressionism was popular, artists begin to write essays about their work, and from this was the wide use of the Artist’s statement. Others say the practice started earlier but don’t doubt that by the 1950s it was a common practice.
As a technical issue, if one finds the origins of this practice then the reasoning for it becomes less opaque.
As a hypothetical example, if this did become common in the 50s, the timing puts it during the main frontal attack of the cold war, when many artists were accused of being communist. If true then the artist’s statement likely became a tool of political ass covering.
In the cynical light of day, the artist’s statement is little other than an opportunity to promote the work under some pretext and to use that to direct the emotions of the potential patrons…..
When I used the words "Artist's Statement, Vision or Idea" I erred. I did not mean the essay that Alain Briot advises folk who want to market their work. He BTW, is in correct and in order, as folk want to know what you represent and that's fair. I'd not be cynical. "I paint roses since I love them" would be good enough for me.