Category Archives: Latin American Abstraction

Ubiquitous Klee

The narrative of post-war American art is by now pretty dull. It’s hard to say how many really believed it; certainly most artists have always had a broader view of the world. It was probably at base a marketing strategy … Continue reading

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New Beginning

The blog is starting up again, and it’s gratifying to know that readers I had before are happy to see it come back. The occasion is the imminent publication of my book, my first book. Artists don’t have to write … Continue reading

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Nasreen Mohamedi

Just discovered a great but lesser known artist—Nasreen Mohamedi. The obvious precursor for a drawing like this one is Agnes Martin, but in feel it recalls Gego. Other drawings are a bit more severe and mechanical. A click will help … Continue reading

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Homage to Gego

This drawing from a couple of years ago is an homage to Gego. Also dedicated to my good friends and inspiring artists Leah James and Alexis Harding.

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Drawing and writing

A few years ago I saw a show of Gego and the distinguished Argentine artist Leon Ferrari at MoMA. Ferrari’s work repels me—a purely instinctive reaction. Normally I might expect that feeling to reverse at some point, but in his … Continue reading

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Discursive objects

Listening still to Boris Groys, whose ideas should by rights be central to this blog. He says: “We see artworks as incarnating art. The famous distinction between art and non-art is generally understood as a distinction between objects inhabited and … Continue reading

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Shadows

Just staying on Gego for another post—couldn’t a shadow be a metaphor for interpretation, or even backstory? The object is touched by an illuminating gaze, let’s not say an imagination, but something less than that, a faculty of illumination from … Continue reading

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Expressiveness without backstory

Following from the previous post, Gego‘s work might be exemplary of an art which is just a sensitive handling of small particulars, when those small particulars don’t necessarily mean anything, or stand for anything, and don’t need a title or … Continue reading

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Poverty

Another quote from my favorite literary critic: “We dwell in poverty, and we are that poverty, for our imaginative need has become greater than our imaginations can fulfill.”

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Beginnings

The invocation of beginnings in Pape’s title summons up the early moments of abstraction-the work of Malevich, Popova and other Russians. The new art was cosmic because it was the image of a new universe, and the beginnings of the … Continue reading

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Book of Creation

I first saw works by Lygia Pape at the Americas Society in New York back in the 90s. They were prints with a Gegoish flavor, but I found out about The Book of Creation from a catalog that I picked … Continue reading

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Stones

The art we commonly call abstract is a message from the non-human. But it’s not so clear exactly what qualifies. A stone on the ground is of the inhuman universe, but conventional criticism claims that the fact that the stone … Continue reading

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