Artist of Conflict, Artist of Repression

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.

Frank Stella, The Earthquake in Chile, 1998, installation at the Whitney Museum, 2015

Frank Stella, The Earthquake in Chile, 1998, installation at the Whitney Museum, 2015

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One Response to Artist of Conflict, Artist of Repression

  1. Martin Mugar says:

    Mark Stone extends this critique to Alex Katz:
    http://henrimag.com/?p=8025#respond

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