Contemporary art cartoon – blank canvases as art. Emperor’s new clothes?

Blank canvas painting cartoon

Cartoon of a blank artist’s canvas being defined as art

This cartoon was drawn six years ago, in 2006. I’m posting it now because it’s relevant to the current (2012) exhibition at one of London’s galleries of contemporary art, the Hayward Gallery, Invisible. The exhibition is about invisible art and consists to a large part of blank canvases.

The cartoon is about the pretentiousness and arrogance of some contemporary art and (especially) conceptual art, and about the way that the contemporary art establishment is capable of elevating even the most banal concepts to a level of deluded meaningfulness.
With such art the expression the emperor’s new clothes comes readily to mind.
Cartoon showing an artist in front of a blank canvas. He can’t think of anything meaningful to paint, so an acquaintance suggests that he just leaves the canvas blank and gives the resulting ‘work’ a pretentious title.
I’m quite a fan of quite a lot of contemporary art, conceptual art and modern art by the way. In fact, one artwork that is about nothing, and that isn’t in this exhibition, and that I like very much, is Antony Gormley’s cloud chamber (called Blind Light) which was exhibited at the same gallery, the Hayward Gallery, a few years ago. This is despite the fact that I’m not a huge fan of Gormley in general. I’d smelt down his Angel of the North.

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