This reminded me of a minor mind-niggle-- there isn't much modern art that I can think of in sf.
So, just to give folks a chance at the pleasure of rummaging through their memories... what examples can you think of?
For purposes of this discussion, modern art is the styles which were developed in the 20th century which explored the aesthetic ranges which weren't generally popular, and which mostly ended up in museums and concert halls. I'm not saying all of it was awful or a fraud, just arcane. I like some of it.
The first example which came to my mind was the singing in the Thomas Covenant books-- iirc, solo singing in unfamiliar scales, without strong melody.
Mieville's Un Lun Dun (which I recommend highly) has a good bit of surrealist feeling imagery. The book has very fine puns and charming little pen and ink illustrations by the author.
I read it without knowing anything about it, and I think that's a good way to read it. There's a plot turn that everyone else seems to be delighted by, but didn't mean much to me. For what it's worth, I also thought there wasn't anything special about Neuromancer-- just a pretty ordinary piece of sf-- so go figure.
Cordwainer Smith's "The Dead Lady of Clown Town" tells both a culture-changing event, and about the art inspired by it-- at least one of the paintings was abstract.
It's been a while since I've read Delany's Stars in My Pocket Like Grains of Sand, but as I recall, many of the book cubes weren't what we'd call usual narrative. And the street theater in Triton would count, I think.
For purposes of this discussion, I'm not interested in the narrator or a character complaining about experimental art, I want art which would have been considered experimental within the past century or so presented as normal.
This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/530435.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comments so far on that entry.