Tag Archives: Richard Shiff

The Score

Any artwork worthy of the name will give more over time. One experience of it can hardly be enough. In music there are recordings, but the best way to listen to music is to play it from the score, that … Continue reading

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Nature

In an essay about my work, Richard Shiff said that I produce a sense of place out of nothing and nowhere, the highest compliment I can imagine. My work is as arbitrary as nature itself—it unfolds according to immanent laws, … Continue reading

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The Contingent

Another important concept stressed by Stephen Jay Gould, one that is very much relevant to art, is contingency. He is talking about the possible pathways of evolution, but in art we could say that all works begin contingently and move … Continue reading

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Complexity and Simplification

Throughout the twentieth century, the formal complexities of modernist art have driven artists to simplify and clarify their work. Judd and the other minimalists were doubtless right in their feeling that abstract painting had become too fiddly and fussy about … Continue reading

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Time Passing

Cézanne’s card players have come up before on this blog. I find them puzzling. The subject is boring and the manner is uninspired, even if the pictures do contain lots of typical Cézanne. But maybe time does pass without much … Continue reading

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Watery Pinnacle

The best works in the De Kooning show, perhaps the height of his career, were in the second last room, centered around the piece illustrated here. Words like magnificent come to mind. The orchestration of color and of the scale … Continue reading

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Lines in Space

A little while ago I received the following note from Richard Shiff, referring to an earlier post: “I agree with these lines of yours, with regard to Judd … ‘I think that an artist like Judd would probably assent, but … Continue reading

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Echo Again

Before carrying on with the topic from the previous post I’d like to pick up an earlier thread that also links the objective matter of abstract painting with the movement of the imagination. Somehow I suspect that quotes from Harold … Continue reading

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Grids Part 5

In a recent conversation with painter Yunhee Min I was provoked to the following thought about grids: What I find most interesting in what you are saying is your use of geometry to make an origin for yourself. [referring to … Continue reading

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Reductive art history

Today I had a brief conversation with Richard Shiff. We share the view that most art history is quite reductive, that it narrows art to fit abstract theories rather than opening it up to experience. In my opinion, he is … Continue reading

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