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Aye of the Beholder


Thursday, March 14, 2013
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Perhaps Mr. Lackner should do his homework before he calls the “Chromatic Gate,” by Herbert Bayer, a mediocre piece of work. Mr. Bayer is a highly regarded artist around the world, having worked as a student in the Bauhaus Group under such known artists as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. His influence in a multitude of mediums is widely known. Once restored, the true vibrancy of the piece will again be seen. It should have happened sooner. To place it somewhere like De la Guerra Plaza would be a travesty.

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I agree that Lackner stepped in it with his criticism of the sculpture, it read more like sour grapes than an actual critique/
But I do think De La Guerra is a good idea if the piece were to be relocated.
There is no "main gate to Santa Barbara" per se. So maybe it should be relocated so more people can enjoy it.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 3:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What homework is required here? Yes, Bayer worked with some interesting people in the '30s and acquired credentials as a postwar designer. That doesn't mean we should bow down uncritically before every notion that popped out of his sketchbook. The Gate was and will remain an uninspired doodle that for some reason enchanted the otherwise astute Paul Mills, and now we seem to be stuck forever with its upkeep.

pk (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 4:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The City should sell the sculpture to another City and use the money to buy a sculpture that compliments the location. Bayers sculpture doesn't fit either location. It would be more suited in New York or Berlin.

Also Bayer was instrumental in the development of the Atlantic Richfield Company's corporate art collection. Does Santa Barbara really want an art piece along the beach from an artist who worked for Arco.

I like Bayers work. He's a good artist in my book. But his sculture just doesn't work by the beach or by the Spanish style architecture near De la Guerra plaza.

Georgy (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

An Artwork isn't supposed to "fit a location". That would make it a decoration, not Art.
Art is not a wall or garden decoration, it is a entity unto itself and whether one likes the piece or not it definitely qualifies as an entity unto itself.
As for a post mortem punishment of Bayer for daring to accept a commission from Arco, should we also boycott the Getty because it was created with revenue from oil?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 14, 2013 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

There is no workable way to define a difference between "Art" and "Decoration." In addition, anything, including "Art," placed in a public location should fit the location. Otherwise it risks being an unwelcome intrusion.

pk (anonymous profile)
March 15, 2013 at 7:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

To me, placing this object anywhere would be a travesty, unless used as a temporary starting gate for a LGBT parade. I'm not anti-anything here, just think it is wasted money for an object that says nothing to me about Santa Barbara, the ocean, or anything else.

fogrider (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 10:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Who says that Art has to say anything? Why can't Art just be pleasure on occasion?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 11:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Arguing semantics is a fool's game.

fogrider (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 5 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You're the one who claimed that Art needed to have a message.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 6:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

And you have proved my point, no? You may now have the last word :)

fogrider (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 8:58 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What point have you :?

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 16, 2013 at 10:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the chromatic gate is pretty cool and look how it causes some conversation...and about Art, yahoo! Art can be decoration of course, look how Klimt's work (Adele B. etc.) was once derided as merely "decorative'... and yeah, it would be more suited to Berlin...one of the most exciting aesthetic cities in the world, so why not enjoy a bit of Berlin in SB...oh, we're too Spanish Revival for it "to fit in"...KV's correct, art doesn't have to fit in.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 17, 2013 at 4:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Wouldn't it gain mystique if it were discoverable only by strolling into a grove of tall trees? Voila, from bathos to pathos. Pleasure seekers would stream to it to capture the experience for themselves. Tourism would tick up. Let true esthetes visit the museum, and not inflict art on us masses.

Adonis_Tate (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2013 at 6:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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