Letter to ARC

Home / Education / ARChives / Letters

Letter to ARC


Published before 2005

[ In the following, ARC Chairman Fred Ross responds to Sheldon Lichter's letter quoted below. As an aside, we can't help but wonder whether the "flat canvas" theory Cezanne's paintings are called on to endorse won't soon be regarded with as much derision as the "flat Earth" dogma. In the Living Masters Gallery on ARC we are already charting the progress of our latter-day Columbuses. Despite Modernist predictions of a flat canvas, they have yet to sail off the edge of the frame. -- ARC Webmaster ]

Dear Sheldon,

He is omitted because his work doesn't meet our standards qualitatively. He has been hyped for nearly a century as the father of Modernism. You'll notice none of those works on our site either. He really has done nothing but prove what any three year old knows when viewing paintings, i.e. that the canvas is flat. And then he did it over and over again making his career out of it. What could be more inane than that (something that modernists accuse the academic artists of being)? And then he was celebrated as if that meant he was telling the truth while all artists before him were lying. By that way of thinking, I'm lying because I'm using this computer screen to send you messages such that you might think what I have said has meaning. But in reality there is nothing but squiggles on a white background and if I was more "truthful" like Cezanne, I would make all of those squiggles unintelegible. Then you would know that you were only looking at squibbles on a white background.

Therein lies the "brilliance" of Cezanne.

As works of art every parameter of great painting is absent from his work. Drawing, modeling, perspective, and especially great subjects or themes are not present. He doesn't belong in the Art Renewal Center, and he doesn't belong in our nation's great museums. If that sounds radical, consider this: we have over 400,000 visitors per month delivering over 21,000,000 hits to our site. We recieve hundreds of letters every week, and 99% of them agree with what I have just said.

By the way, this is the first letter I've been able to respond to in this detail in a while due to being overloaded with mail.

I suggest you read the following documents for a much better understanding of what we believe.

Good Art Bad Art: Pulling Back the Curtain:
the ARC Philosophy:
Both of these have become assigned reading in college and high school courses all around the world and are currently being read by 25,000+ people per month.

Please take another good look at Cezanne's work before you respond.

Thank you for writing.

Fred Ross, Chairman, Art Renewal Center http://www.artrenewal.org