A History of Modern Art in Limericks
When Picasso deemed one point of view
Of a subject as simply too few,
He captured all angles
In black and beige tangles,
Collapsing 3Ds into 2.
These Italians were rather keen
On modernity, venting their spleen
On museums, spaghetti
And peace. Marinetti
Said 'Let's celebrate the machine.'
III. De Stijl
Mondrian and his kith may appear,
From their work, to have been quite austere,
But the stuff they produced
Gave Dutch art the best boost
It had had since van Gogh lost his ear.
Breton’s acolytes ventured to tap
Into all sorts of unconscious crap.
All those pictures of ants
And shit-stained underpants
Got the bourgeois critiques in a flap.
V. Abstract Expressionism
This depressive American lot
Favoured gestural marks and some got
By deploying their hues
In dribbles direct from the pot.
VI. Pop Art
In the Sixties these guys made a case
To democratise art and replace
The stuffy high culture
Of painting and sculpture
With screen-prints of Marilyn’s face.
VII. Op Art
When Varsarely and Riley made planes
Seem to warp they showed how peoples’ brains
Could be fooled by their eyes.
Many found this gave rise
To extremely unpleasant migraines.
Andre, Serra et al didn’t rate
Decoration or even equate
Self-expression with what
Art’s about, they just got
Sheets of metal to stick in the Tate.
These new puritans tried to transcend
All that stuff artists model and blend.
They declared it was daft
That we privilege craft
When it’s ideas that count in the end.
If you have any comments on his poems, Rob Stuart would be
pleased to hear from you.