I agree with Picasso’s dismissal of abstraction, and simple mathematics can explain why. A brushstroke that renders some particular thing does more than a brushstroke that sits on a canvas wanting to be admired for itself, so it’s a better brushstroke. Figurative art does more with the same means (which naturally don’t have to be brushstrokes) and therefore it is better. So why am I an abstractionist? Not for any logical reason.

Robert Motherwell, Elegy for the Spanish Republic #100 1963-75

Maybe I’m a sucker for the future. The unknown. In any case, for its own sake abstract art had better allow figuration. Stella, for one, has recognized this.

Frank Stella, The Prophet 1990

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