Tag Archives: money

Progressive Critique

The following comes from a piece by McKenzie Wark: “Contemporary art…loves three strategies that portray nothing so much as the forms of accumulation its current or emerging patrons enjoy. Firstly, there is outsourcing, where the art is made by somebody … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Conceptualism and Painting, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Realist Masquerade

When the post about Ian Wallace’s Poverty went up on Facebook, there were comments from Ydessa Hendeles. She is a very interesting artist and has been an important figure in Toronto for many years. She remembers when the Poverty series … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abstraction from Life

This blog is about abstract art, and I think it offers some interesting and novel ideas. It also has some unconventional ideas, and makes no apology for that. The recent post on Ian Wallace’s work is, for me, a bit … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Conceptualism and Painting, Early Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Aristocrat of the Spirit

You have to know that you are right. But if no one else agrees then you’re a poor sap anyway. Indifference to shame helps. The shame of poverty, for example. Baudelaire turned poverty into “poverty.” Shamelessness fosters conviction.

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wallace’s Poverty

Ian Wallace’s Poverty is a fiction. Can someone who is really poor take an interest in that? You’d have to be indifferent to wealth to begin with to appreciate both rich and poor as roles, to take them as art. For … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Abstraction in Iran

My facebook friend from Vancouver, Mohammad Salemy, has written a piece about the modernist art collection in Tehran. It’s worth a read. The collection is very rich, but right now I’m interested in the abstraction. Stella spent time there in … Continue reading

Posted in American Modernism, Asian Abstraction, Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Invention and Labour

I read recently about Alfons Mucha’s Slav Epic, an allegorical/historical cycle of gigantic paintings, some actually as much as 20 feet high. I’d like to see them, but even before doing so I’m getting tired. Too much work! Mucha is … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Principles of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Modern Labor

Kafka has this to say about the entrepreneurial culture: “The animal wrests the whip from its master and whips itself in order to become master, not knowing that this is only a fantasy produced by a new knot in the … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Polemic

Another chapter of my book looks at that universal favorite, Gerhard Richter. It may be the first genuine critique of an overrated artist, and the book is probably worth the price for that alone. It’s not original though; I take … Continue reading

Posted in American Modernism, Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fog of Art

I like a recent article by Hito Steyerl, especially this line: “Art is encryption as such, regardless of the existence of a message with a multitude of conflicting and often useless keys.” This is a little dose of aesthetics; abstraction … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Politics and Art of the Abstract Type

It’s been an interesting nine months. Like many I’ve been completely captivated by Bernie. Never in my life have I felt like giving money to a politician, but can’t anyway since I’m not American. For that matter, I’ve never heard … Continue reading

Posted in American Modernism, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction, Principles of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Networks

Lane Relyea describes the reconstitution of the art world around systems of communication, around networks, and he makes a strong case that the ruling paradigm today is information. The database and the project are the fundamental forms, and the idea … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Matter of Fact

Following on from the previous post, Andrea Fraser’s effort at desublimation is better yet. I think it transcends the obvious caption, “art as prostitution.” Again it’s totally objective, but it hits hard when we consider that it “really” happened. The … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Uncritical and Affirmative

Barry Schwabsky has a surprisingly hard hitting piece in The Nation on the Koons retrospective, the more so as he affirms the general feeling, held by many artists for sure, myself included, that Koons is a significant figure. It’s hard … Continue reading

Posted in Abstract Sculpture, Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Ethics of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Small Group

Speaking about coteries, a recent article in the NYT points out that there are world wide an estimated 200,000 or thereabouts of individuals with more than $30 million in assets, yet the total bidders at Christie’s spring 2014 auctions of … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Man of Sensibility and Taste

The fact is, there is no avoiding Mr. Simchowitz, however much I disagree with his choices. He knows how to talk. This is what he says about Oscar Murillo: “…with Oscar, there is no collusion—his collectors are an evenly distributed … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Arthoodication

My favorite blog writer, Alfredo Triff, has recently picked up on the article about Stefan Simchowitz that was going around a while ago. He makes his usual great analysis. But what strikes me is that just because a lot of … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Democracy of Taste

Contrary to what it might seem from the previous post, I am not critical of Oscar Murillo. He’s an ordinary artist, fighting the same struggles as all of us and facing the same temptations—above all the temptation to just accept … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Illustration and Abstraction

I’ve been enjoying the work of the great British illustrator Brian Wildsmith. He started in the early sixties and it’s not hard to see some influence from Alan Davie, as well as from those perennial undergraduate favorites Klimt and Hundertwasser. Arbitrary … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Stratified Market

The art market has a few peculiarities. For one it’s stratified, meaning that there are top level galleries, various kinds of middle level galleries and bottom level galleries. This division corresponds to the fact that collectors are also dividable into … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Undead Formalism

I have yet to weigh in on the Stefan Simchowitz imbroglio – actually the post is written but not yet posted. However, Walter Robinson’s response comes first. He thinks that formalism is dead, and instead of adducing Jacob Kassay and … Continue reading

Posted in American Modernism, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates recently gave a talk in Toronto, which sadly I missed, but the other day I came across two articles about him, one in the New Yorker, the other in the New York Times Magazine. As usual, certain small … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Harvey

David Harvey is a pretty great thinker, in fact I might say necessary for anyone who wants to understand what’s really going on in the world today. Is it important for an abstract artist to care about that? If they … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art in the Mainstream

Barry Schwabsky’s recent review of the Christopher Wool retrospective strikes several chords with this blog. Right off he asks whether the value of art can be equated with price, exactly the right question, and of course he gives the right … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Conceptualism and Painting, Current Affairs, Ethics of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Internet Business

A review of Jaron Lanier‘s new book in Bookforum resonates well with my own thoughts on the direness of the internet. “We can each in turn go to our deaths giving away our value for some other entity’s benefit while … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Conceptualism and Painting, Ethics of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Economics of Blogging

Jaron Lanier’s new book makes a strong case that the digital economy is a rip-off, particularly of creators. This is something I’ve long thought, though my experience of it has been limited—until now. The previous post has a link back … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conditions of Invention 2

The previous post did not mention art at all, but I trust my readers will recognize the problem that faces all attempts to institutionalize or channel creativity. Both bureaucracies and markets—which in fact are not that different from each other—need … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, American Modernism, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art and the Techno-business

A couple of recent posts have talked about digital technology. I think this does have something to do with art, and not just because the tech hype writers have tried to draw from art for marketing imagery, although that is … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Measured Innovation

Innovation is relative, and can only be evaluated from a temporal perspective—one has to choose the scale of comparison. In Silicon Valley, where revolution is an everyday event, there is an inverse relation between the triviality of the product and … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Current Affairs, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unknown Audience

Some of the things that Scott Lyall brought up two posts back are aspects of the current dialectic of theatricality, which Smithson knew a lot about (in fact more than Michael Fried, who has come to own the concept). This … Continue reading

Posted in Abstraction and Society, Conceptualism and Painting, Ethics of Abstraction, Principles of Abstraction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments