In 1936, Mark Rothko began writing a book, which he never completed, about the similarities in the children's art and the work of modern painters. The work of modernists, which was influenced by primitive art, could be compared to that of children in that "Child art transforms itself into primitivism, which is only the child producing a copy of himself. " In this same work, he said that "The fact that one usually begins with drawing is already academic. We start with color."
According to the dictionary, the academic has two meanings. One is "based on learning from books and study". The other is "not relating to a real sitution and not relevant".
I just cannot which meaning fits the situation. In other words, I cannot understand the whole sentence including academic. Can any native teacher help me out?
The second of those meanings—irrelevant if you like.