We favor the simple expression of the complex thought.

We are for the large shape because it has the impact
of the unequivocal.

We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.

The artists were attempting to make art more than something to just look at.
They wanted it to be something to be involved in.
Something too big to ignore.

It is our function as artists to make the spectator to see the world our way, not his way.

Lyrics submitted by xiaohoa

Slideshow at Free University song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentI think this is from Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb's manifesto on abstract art, which was apparently published in the new york times.
    lethalsweeton March 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think the commentary could be used to describe the purpose of graffiti and/or street art...
    xsj4d0on August 03, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see this as a criticism of a lot of recent art, stuff by and inspired by Jackson Pollack, it's quoting an opinion on abstract art, notably for Le Tigre in a man's voice (which sounds cartoonish, and almost ridiculous) and using the pronoun "him" alone at the end.

    The simple sentences make the assertions seem simplistic, trite and absurd; "make art more than just something to look at", "destroy illusion and reveal truth", etc., and the last verse has a ring of the sinister with the emphasis on the word "not" in the phrase "not his way".

    All this destroys both the effectiveness and the attractiveness of the "simple expression of the complex thought", in words and also in art which is just a huge wall of colour. It's a statement, and it was interesting once, but at this stage it's just obvious, we get it and could you please do something interesting?
    spamuellon January 01, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNope, these samples are from Marshall McLuhan's 'The Medium Is The Massage" records, check them out!
    DevastatorJr.on February 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAcutally, I wastotally wrong. It's from Mark Rothko, Adolf Gottlieb, and Barnett Newman. see here --
    DevastatorJr.on April 09, 2007   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningIt was a statement published by Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman (Abstract Expressionist artists) and Adolf Gottlieb (an art critic).

    Mark Rothko struggled to find a way to express emotion in painting, and finally came to the conclusion that the best way to do so was to eliminate form, which clouded the meanings of the work. He didn't want people to focus on titles or formal images, but wanted people to focus on the emotions one would get when looking at a work of art. Thus, simplicity destroys illusion and reveals truth, and "we favor the simple expression of the complex thought."

    Today, people take advantage of Abstract Expressionism. What the audience has to understand is that the history of art was always about achieving the perfect form a la Greek/Roman/Renaissance art. The study of anatomy, proportion, and perspective was always more important than subject matter. So Abstract Expressionist artists like Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman took a huge risk in eliminating forms in the 1950s.

    "It is our function as artists to make the spectator to see the world our way, not his way" is a big screw you to the conformists of art who believed art should be pretty and something that represents nature, or the real world. Because, obviously, that wasn't the point of Abstract Expressionism.
    edinesson February 20, 2010   Link

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