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August 13, 2009

The Art Quotient

Some time ago I watched a program on Horizon ' Battle of the Brains'. They took seven people - a musical prodigy, a quantum physicist, an artist, a dramatist, an RAF fighter pilot, a chess grandmaster and a Wall Street trader. Each is put through a series of tests to discover who is the most intelligent. The resuts were astonishing, Check the conclusion of the show it will change your perception about intelligence. Results link.
The series firmly planted in my mind that Art was as intelligent a pursuit as science or engineering. Ability to imagine, conceive and express with a piece of art was comparable with performing surgery or writing a computer program or balancing the books. And I became acutely aware of my inability to appreciate a piece of Art beyond its aesthetic appeal for its intellectual dimension. I used to hear terms like impressionist, cubism, renaissance, et el; I could not understand one from the other.

Recently on my visit to Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh I signed up for a guided tour to learn ‘to read & appreciate art’.

I have over 40 pictures of various works of art from the museum on Facebook / Orkut; check the name of the art work in the picture and than input that into the Carnegie Museum database .You will get details about the art work, painter and the art movement that represented. It is extremely informative. I have copied a few of them below. Also a good resource to understand various art movements (Renaissance,Impressionism, Cubism etc)

Mystery behind Modern Art – Like others 'modern art' perplexed me too. And I found out from our tour guide as to why the artist shifted from drawing landscapes, portraits etc to vague images. With advent of photography in late 19th century the traditional main-stay of artists was threatened. So artists ventured into areas that photography could not address – such as more ‘abstract work’. is a terrific resource to get some basic understanding of Modern Art and various art movements within Modern Art.

Idea behind Minimalism was to strip down form to its very basics and then strip it down even further. The result was a fresh and simplistic article with the emphasis being on the audience being able to view the artwork with increased intensity and focus on the meaning without the distraction and clutter of form and composition.
Carl Andre / Fallen Timbers
Impressionism was a modern art/contemporary art movement which, through painting an image as if it was a glance, would show how an object's surroundings can effect what is seen in a memory. Art had a new thinking, no longer does it have to resemble a photographic image, it can embrace an extra dimension which is, 'how we perceive art'. Waterloo Bridge, London by Claude Monet

The idea behind the modern art movement of pointillism was to paint in minuscule dots. The effect was a painting that looked dream like and fairytale like.
Place dec Lices St. Tropez by Paul Signac

Environmental Sculpture titled Stone ring by Richard Long

I created a new term – Art Quotient – which means the ability to understand, interpret and appreciate / critic Art. And now I can proudly claim that my Art Quotient is above ZERO.


Anonymous said...

Art Quotient established in 1998 is the name of a nonprofit organization so it is not a new term. It is a 501(c)3 corporation.

Samir Konnur said...

Thanks for the info. Obviously I had not found any reference to art quotient being referred to in the sense of personal IQ or EQ. You might have conceived Art Quotient as a term without meaning it the way I meant it.