Rorshach Fail

Stella, at least before Moby Dick, was pretty committed to non-representational art, and kept coming up with new ways to see what that meant. Here’s another quote from the catalog mentioned earlier:

“The way I see it, an abstract painting should fail the Rorshach test. You should not be able to organize it. Not only is the image not abstracted from any specific thing, it doesn’t looks if it is either.”

So here is a rationalization for the apparent chaos of Stella’s art, say from the Circuits through Had Gadya, that he works it till resemblance is made impossible. That’s a concrete goal and a worthy one. And I also like the attempt to defeat organization. Order and organization will appear anyway, the more so as his shapes are clear and definite, but the formulation is not absolute or even theoretical, it’s a delimited and doable task. 

Frank Stella, Talladega 1980

Frank Stella, Talladega 1980

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