André had a really interesting exhibit this week. Something that I had never heard of or even thought i would ever see in a gallery. His exhibit was entitled the Salon des Refusés, inspired by the event that happened in 1863 when a number of artists were rejected by the Paris Salon to showcase their art. Those rejected artists then were not able to show or sell their paintings at any other gallery because they had a red “R” on the back of the frame. So they came together and did their own gallery showing. André has done the same event but collected submissions of all rejected work from CSULB students, faculty, and alumni.
I really appreciate what André did for the artist because he was explaining that not all of the art was rejected because it was “bad art”. A couple of the paintings and sculptures were rejected because they didnt fit in with the rest of the artists collection. Essentially the art was forcefully edited out of the showing room by someone telling the artist that it wasn’t strong enough or didn’t match the rest of their work. All the art in André’s exhibit was beautiful and was not poorly made or weak in terms of esthetic or craft. André made a point to say that it is up to the artist to decide whether it is good or bad art not a panel of critics. Critics can have their opinion on the art but cant decide if it is worthy of being displayed. That was the point of creating Salon des Refusés.
André also talked about things he would of wanted to change. He wished that the walls on the exhibit were filled with more art. He informed the art department that he was taking all submissions for his exhibit and he says that he wishes he had a couple more submission so that there was less white space on the walls.
Over all I think that André has a great idea and is also doing something great for CSULB students, faculty, and alumni. Showing work that may or may not have been rejected for the right reasons. Either way it is hard work put on a canvas and it should be displayed.