Unreal Nature

October 13, 2015

The Wall, Too

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:47 am

… as if they were another country …

Continuing through Modern Painting and Sculpture: 1880 to the Present at The Museum of Modern Art, edited by John Elderfield (2004). This book uses extracts from other books to comment on the featured artists (I’m extracting from those extracts… ) If that text does not refer specifically to the MoMA art that is shown in the parent book, I may choose to use some other work by the artist to illustrate my post. Today’s first is from Americans by Ad Reinhardt (1963):

… A clearly defined object, independent and separate from all other objects and circumstances, in which we cannot see whatever we choose or make of it anything we want, whose meaning is not detachable or translatable, where nothing can be added and nothing can be taken away. A free, unmanipulated and unmanipulatable, useless, unmarketable, irreducible, unphotographable, unreproducible, inexplicable icon. A non-entertainment, not for art-commerce or mass-art-publics, non-expressionist, not for oneself. 1955

Ad Reinhardt, Number 107, 1950

The next is from Jackson Pollock: New Approaches by Anne M. Wagner (1999):

… Think of these canvases [by Helen Frankenthaler] laid horizontal, and their maker pacing and tracing on them as if they were another country, one in which she was prepared to dwell.

Helen Frankenthaler, Jacob’s Ladder, 1957

From Latin American Artists of the Twentieth Century by Aracy Amaral (1993), quoting critic José Balza on Alejandro Otero’s Colorhythm I:

Alejandro Otero, Colorhythm, I, 1955

” … The colors play between the lines creating dimensional and spatial counterpoint … “

Last for today, this is from New Spanish Painting and Sculpture by Frank O’Hara (1960):

… His [Antoni Tàpies’s] insistence on the identity of his material and on the totality of image creates a space into which we do not go: if anything, it advances towards us. We have had much graffiti in contemporary painting, but when Tàpies uses them he gives us the wall, too, or a piece of the wall, a relief, a fresco.

Antoni Tàpies, Gray Relief on Black, 1959

My most recent previous post from Elderfield’s book is here.




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