Stipan Tadić, Self-Portrait with Lavender, 2009.

A New Substance of the Term

Teaching in today’s academies differs from that of fifty or even a hundred years ago, which consequently means that “academic” art itself has undergone a “modernisation” of sorts, thus changing the contemporary substance of the term. If we accept the terminological definition that “academicism”, in the narrower sense of the term, is a phenomenon that, regardless of style, poetics, etc. … uninventively, but skilfully repeats certain canons, expressions, while applying a schematism of sorts, then we can apply this term to such works irrespective of the epoch. Just as being a traditionalist does not mean being conservative, so being an academic artist does not mean being a supporter of academicism. Academic teaching should be understood in its original sense, therefore, in the sense of knowledge acquisition that helps to fully release the artistic genius given only to those who are truly devoted.

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