In modern times - more and more over the course of the last two hundred years - we have come to speak as though every artist had to rebel against the art of his contemporaries.

Art

In modern times - more and more over the course of the last two hundred years - we have come to speak as though every artist had to rebel against the art of his contemporaries. Art is praised in terms of being unique, revolutionary, shocking even. We feel good about admiring the artist whose work no one appreciated a hundred years ago. But when we get to the art of our own day, we get cold feet and say that an artist has gone too far, that what he does can no longer be called art. Or, rather, the media say it for us. And, on the whole, we agree because we expect to be puzzled by art's insistent newness - so much so that we do not notice the old themes, methods and also virtues that the art of our own time is full of.

We require artists to be separate from the rest of us, figures with special talents and drive, so vigorous that conventions cannot contain them. Previous ages went to artists with commissions: people needed art for specific purposes, and it was part of their ordinary life. Today we leave artists to their own devices and get rather cross with them if they want to come down out of the clouds.

19 According to the writer, how do people react to modern art these days?
A in an unrestrained way
B in an illogical way
C in an unconventional way
D in an unpredictable way

20 In the second paragraph, the writer makes the point that artists are no longer regarded as people with
A a message to impart.
B an unusual lifestyle.
C a role in society.
D a functional skill.

In modern times - more and more over the course of the last two hundred years - we have come to speak as though every artist had to rebel against the art of his contemporaries.

Text: Cambridge University Press

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