Tag Archives: series

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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Reversal

I’m in New York this weekend, and having a number of strong experiences with art. Titles are still in the forefront after I saw Gareth James’ show at Miguel Abreu, but must swerve away from that topic to respond to … 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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Title as hook

A criticism of Terry Atkinson’s work, and its titles, would start by observing that the object is devalued by being wrapped in a fog of words. Modernist attention to the object is not an avoidance of history, or at least … Continue reading

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A literary measure

I’d like to answer the question I asked about Motherwell’s work a few posts back by suggesting that it fails for both reasons; the Elegies series is both too literary and not literary enough. The works are too literary because … Continue reading

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Motherwell’s melancholic poetry

Motherwell’s series Elegy to the Spanish Republic, is derived in a very sophisticated way from a poem by Lorca called “Lament for Ignacio Sánchez Mejías,” an account of the death of a bullfighter. Motherwell shows his superiority to the leftist … Continue reading

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Series and painting

I still intend to spend some time on Motherwell, because for me he presents important problems about the literary in abstraction, but just today I’ve been reading one of Shep Steiner’s new pieces, this one about Frank Stella. One quote … Continue reading

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Formalism, conceptualism and the death of desire

At the conclusion of Thomas Hardy’s novel The Well-Beloved, the hero, a successful sculptor of the Alfred Gilbert type, loses all interest in art in his later years: “On another afternoon they went to the National Gallery, to test his … Continue reading

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Pre-conceptualism Part 2

I realized today that some links on this blog were not working, specifically most of the “Paradigms” pages accessible from the menu above and the tags on the right hand side. These problems are solved now, so the tags can … Continue reading

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Emptied of feeling

The work discussed in the previous post gave a good example of how orthogonals enable feeling. But in modern times, one of the advantages of geometry is how it can allow the negation of feeling. That’s an advantage because it’s … Continue reading

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Chance and sensibility

I think I was unfair to Motherwell in a previous post, in the sense that a reader might take the wrong impression. Of course it is obvious that Motherwell’s drawings are his, the products of a sensibility and an intelligence. … Continue reading

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Between Richter and Motherwell

To make his “Lyric Suite,” named after a composition by Alban Berg, Motherwell put on the record and started to paint, with ink and various kinds of colors, on small pieces of Japanese paper. The feeling of rightness in the … Continue reading

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Temporality of abstraction

Modernist criticism knows the past and the future as places to get a perspective on the present, meaning ongoing history. But art creates a present place as a perspective on past and future; the past, meaning precedent art, becomes something … Continue reading

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Cyclical Time

Many tribal cultures, such as those on the west coast of Canada, were itinerant. They had  a summer village and a winter village, and set up temporary camps where the resources were in season—salmon runs, ripe berries. This travel was … Continue reading

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Time and Space

Spent an enjoyable afternoon with Josh Thorpe, an excellent artist with very good ideas about the relative value of experience and theory.  He recently published a guide book to Dan Graham’s pavilions, which also contains an interview with the artist. … Continue reading

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Organicism Going Forward

I do not want to make a work that is limited by my own ability, or by the narrow compass of what I am able to comprehend on a normal day. In the era of global conceptualism this is exactly … Continue reading

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Quaytman’s poem

Presumably one reads a Quaytman installation like a book, from left to right, but it operates by comparison between any two components. Like a poem. Installation poems allow the “reader” to move in any direction. I think that Quaytman’s poems … Continue reading

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Quaytman’s novel

R.H.Quaytman is making a continuous work in sections that she calls “chapters,” each of which is one show. Individual panels are then paragraphs or sentences. The whole thing is a narrative in pictures, and since many of the panels don’t … Continue reading

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