And more

Back in my teaching days I was once challenged by a student who asked why I was always harping on about Jackson Pollock. Might have mentioned that artist three times in three different classes on contemporary art. The student just wanted to be entertained, to move on to the next slide, next distraction. My answer had to be how much attention is too much? If the artist is important why wouldn’t one spend a very long time looking, talking, thinking? How could any amount of time actually be too much, if there is something to look at? We should be glad to encounter art that deserves attention, there isn’t enough of it. Readers of this blog might wonder why it gives so much time to Frank Stella. The short answer is that his work has struck me very deeply over the last three months—since I started on about the Moby Dick series. That’s not a long time. The first twelve or fifteen posts seem superficial to me today—just getting acquainted. Only now am I getting a grip on the work. I’ve just published a piece on the British website abstract critical about why I’m so drawn to it, and it covers different material than this blog.

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