Tag Archives: space

Simplicity and Strangeness

Personally, I don’t find much value in thought. I had some experience of it when I was young, but for most of my life I’ve been more concerned with something else that I’m not sure how to name. There are … Continue reading

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Late Discoveries

Barry Schwabsky has written an insightful review of two current museum shows, Agnes Martin and Carmen Herrera. Herrera is a fascinating figure for everyone, because she holds the record for late discovery of a living artist—after sixty years of obscurity … Continue reading

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Carla Accardi

Carla Accardi was another artist I discussed on the blog several years ago, along with fellow Italians Marisa Merz and Giulio Paolini. In the book she inaugurates the formalist, or “formalist,” chapters. She should be better known on this side … Continue reading

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The Liteness of Kandinsky

I’ve always had problems with Kandinsky. One is his scaleless space, but more about that another time. Another, which I’ve only just began to clarify for myself, is the arbitrariness of his arrangements. There’s no reason why they have to … Continue reading

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Katherine Gili

This 1974 work by Katherine Gili seems to meet many of the demands of the new English metal sculpture school, as laid out by Robin Greenwoood in his critique of Caro. It is planar, but has more than one flat … Continue reading

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Thomas Ruff

I saw the recent photograms of Thomas Ruff in Düsseldorf, but since they are entirely digital you could call them imitation photograms. But that would only apply to the ones that have the typical photogram look, with some straight lines … Continue reading

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Sculpture Figurative and Abstract

Lane Relyea has an original perspective on the work of sculptors such as Rachel Harrison and Isa Genzken: “What we are looking at here, after all, is figurative sculpture…who or what exactly is it representing?” He answers: “…in the new … Continue reading

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Lost Boundaries

One moment in Lane Relyea’s book that caught my attention was this: “The rise of networks might not mean the end of of all insides and outsides, but it does mean that, with boundaries and the exclusions they effect being … Continue reading

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Other Reliefs

Blog reader Kizi Spielmann Rose kindly sent me some shots of Stella’s recent work. He seems himself to respond to energy in art, and has taken up the relief painting method accordingly, with gusto, as evidenced in this image. Some … Continue reading

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Why Abstract?

In what lies the abstraction?

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Late Picasso

I’ve been reading some of the writings of Patrick Heron, an artist who suffered somewhat from his extreme eloquence as a writer. He certainly has me beat, and I know what he was up against, because his writing didn’t help … Continue reading

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Italian Old Masters

Too much has been made of Stella’s interest in Caravaggio round the time of Working Space. It’s pretty hard to find anything in Caravaggio useful to abstract art, and in a way his very strongly felt space is a bit … Continue reading

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All-overness

Greenberg had this to say about what he regarded as Pollock’s major achievement: “It wasn’t the space. I think the shallow illusion of depth had Cubist antecedents, and of course there was Miró’s indeterminate space. When Bryan Robertson writes about … Continue reading

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Images Without Words

While in Vancouver for my recent show I took in Peter Culley’s excellent show at the Charles Scott Gallery. A giant montage of small to medium ink jet prints wrapped around three walls, thankfully without any explanatory wall text or … Continue reading

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Planar Spaces

From Susskind’s book comes another important formulation, also mentioned in my articles of a few years ago, now revisited: “The maximum amount of information that can be stuffed into a region of space is equal to the area of the … Continue reading

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Emergent Space

Lee Smolin’s latest book, Time Reborn, is an argument in favor of the open-ended future. We may not have known it was endangered, but apparently one of the consequences of Einstein’s theory of relativity is that time becomes objectified as … Continue reading

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Tucker’s Stance

William Tucker’s favorite sculptors, according to his book, are Brancusi, Matisse and Degas. If one looks at his own work with this in mind, it’s clear that he is not rooted in construction, but in ideas of organic form, and … Continue reading

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Outdoors

Human beings are just an ordinary part of the biosphere, and the biosphere is our limit. We will never be anything other than animals and all cosmic dreams are just that – dreams. Space flight is bound to fail because … Continue reading

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The Space of an Artist

Blog reader Naomi Schlinke has posted a comment that she has a less than positive experience with Stella’s work, particularly its space. That’s a good thing for me, a Stella fan, because it forces me to clarify what I feel … Continue reading

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Binocular Vision

About a year ago I was working on two shaped canvases – actually PVC panels – and this is how they turned out: I got very impatient with what felt like just the same old Robert Linsley thing; pretty but lifeless. So … Continue reading

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Leger and Stella

The resemblance of Stella’s Cones and Pillars series and the work of Leger  is pretty clear, although to contemplate it is still interesting. Stella has a true modernist genius for picking up on the least promising sources. This Leger could … Continue reading

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Peering over the Edge

British artist Tess Jaray just curated a show of paintings that don’t use paint and the other paraphenalia of the painter’s studio. Readers of this blog may or may not know that I’ve been going on about this phenomenon for … Continue reading

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Overpopulation

I’m feeling somewhat shaken by Alan Weisman’s book on population. He says “Except for volcanic eruptions, every emergency on Earth is now either related to or aggravated by the presence of more people than conditions can bear.” Short of total … Continue reading

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Too Many, Too Much

I’ve been reading a book called Countdown, by Alan Weismann, about population, the biggest problem in the world today, and the one that ties all the others together. Readers of this blog know that I don’t think that species loss … Continue reading

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Wilhelm Worringer

Recently I put up a post on Wilhelm Worringer’s classic book, Abstraction and Empathy. It worked off an earlier post about Michel Serres, but I didn’t give it much importance; it was something of a placeholder. But as Mr. Waller … Continue reading

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Character

The Caro piece I put up in an earlier post is an interior, and the window is one of the great modern images, used by both Picasso and Matisse, among others. When Caro’s work is landscape, or any kind of … Continue reading

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Drawing in Space

“Drawing in space” is a very important technical development in modern sculpture. Shep Steiner’s study of David Smith’s Hudson River Landscape, and other works, which he kindly let me read, is, as usual, brilliant, and opened up this topic for … Continue reading

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Anthony Caro

Just heard the news about the death of Anthony Caro. Although he’s been less on the critical radar in recent years, he was truly a great artist. My feeling about his work was always that it was light, and clearly … Continue reading

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A Heaving Space

The following words from Ehrenzweig approximate very closely Andreas Neufert‘s thesis that Pollock’s gestures mimic the eye movements stimulated by cubism: “Cubism went out of its way to deny the eye stable focusing points round which the rest of the … Continue reading

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Art in the Age of Reproduction

I’ve long thought that Benjamin’s famous essay was the worst thing he ever wrote, but whether I would admit it to myself or not, it’s probably because of the bad use made of it in the art world. Looking more … Continue reading

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