"In 1932, he* wrote: ""Modern painting may seem confusing but it must be remembered that the whole history of art as well as much scientific and psychological knowledge is available to the contemporary painter. He picks and chooses what he wishes."" By acquainting ourselves with the histories and knowledge that matter the most to the living artist, viewers may come to understand an otherwise inscrutable work of contemporary art. And in doing so, we may, according to Barr, ""give the picture, itself, a chance to live!""
*Alfred Barr, first director of MoMA
Meyer, R. (2013). What was Contemporary Art? Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 162