In our time the great artist of conflict is Frank Stella. His over busy and crowded compositions are nothing other than a battle of forms—and to say that doesn’t mean they are not also a dance of forms and a very intimate and loving mingling of forms as well. They behave exactly like the human monkey.
In my book I set up a match between Stella and Richter, although I didn’t actually come up with the idea that they are antagonists. Benjamin Buchloh has to take credit for that. Richter’s scraping technique represses all conflict; no wonder a right wing Jacobin like Buchloh admires his work. A fantasy of the end of all conflict is also a fantasy of absolute power, and something like the dreams of the 1%. No more bothersome monkeys.