Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold. -W. Eugene Smith
The invention of the camera liberated painting from its reportage role. Gone was the need to produce a likeness, detail the events of the story, painting was free to express emotions. True what had gone before contained an emotional content but now painting could experiment and through imaginative interpretation allow the emotional content to predominate. Freed from this constraint the painter was able to create a new language and explore the motivations of their art.
As the 19th century evolved and throughout the 20th century painters from the impressionists through the cubists and expressionists to the minimalists could to use colour, line and form to go straight to the emotional content of their work. The representational aspect of the work become coincidental and was pushed to the point that it became akin to lying on the grass making shapes out of clouds. Enjoyable as it may be it is secondary to the nature of clouds.
The introduction of the digital darkroom...