Evolution in Reverse: The Darwinism of Critique

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN you put a group of young budding artists in a room of art? After a few hours, it looks a lot like this:

monkeys-as-judges-of-art
Monkeys As Judges of Art / Gabriel von Max / 1889 / oil on canvas / 33.5″ × 42.1″

A perfect depiction of art school critique class!

Could it be that art critique is actually evolution in reverse!?!??!?

If only we knew what these monkeys were thinking

monkeys-a-visit-to-the-artists-studio
A Visit to the Artist’s Studio / Gabriel von Max / oil on canvas / 34.6″ x 48.8″

These guys seem to know something we don’t:

Throw on some time-period clothes and stand in front of a painting and viola! They almost look completely evolved! The Monkey Connosuiers / Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps / 1837 / oil on canvas / 18" x 25"
Throw on some time-period clothes, stand in front of a painting and viola! Evolution! The Monkey Connoisseurs / Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps / 1837 / oil on canvas / 18″ x 25″

And yet what of Congo?

One of the hundreds of paintings by the chimp named Congo
One of hundreds of paintings by the chimp named Congo, whose work has been described as “lyrical abstract impressionism” (Wikipedia)

Perhaps Congo was the catalyst for the questioning of authorship and authenticity of the ‘artist’ that ensued post 1950 and which evolved into the postmodernist era.

Some unknown and uncredited monkey doing the artists work for him. I just hope he's getting paid decently. The Monkey Painter / Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps / mid-1800's / oil on canvas
Some unknown and un-credited monkey doing the artist’s work for him. I just hope he’s getting paid decently. The Monkey Painter / Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps / mid-1800s / oil on canvas

Evolution or devolution, we humans continue painting, as always.

Currently on view at the Louvre! And is the artist's name coincidental? The Monkey Painter / Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin / 1740 / oil on canvas / 29" x 24"
Currently on view at the Louvre! Is the artist’s name coincidental? The Monkey Painter / Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin / 1740 / oil on canvas / 29″ x 24″
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