In Brief

Did artists like Picasso and Matisse intend to create 'ugly' work, or when the press titled them so, did the ugly begin to triumph over the beautiful?

Picasso, Guernica, 1937

This article titled “When did modern art become so reluctant to embrace beauty?” was written by Jonathan Jones, for guardian.co.uk on Wednesday 2nd May 2012 13.16 UTC

Beauty is the most dangerous idea in art. It’s the most dangerous idea in life, too. It tantalises and confuses, inspires and crushes. Beauty has been worshipped as the highest artistic value and denigrated as a pagan temptation. Today, though, it is simply treated by the art world as a joke, a con, an idiotic, old-fashioned idea. This makes much art irrelevant, because beauty is everywhere and obsesses everyone (whatever your idea of beauty happens to be).

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