4 Dec 2009

Re-defining Abstraction

I have come across an interesting discussion on re-evaluating Colour Field painting, with an essay by Carl Belz from the book 'Color as Field-American painting 1950-1975' curated by Karen Wilkin which came out in 2007 by the FAA.
Sam Gilliam, 'Green Web' 1967

See slide show here. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/29/AR2008022900890.html

'..the paintings were radical in that they went to the root of painting as it was experienced by the artists who made them, by which is meant painting as it was practiced by the first generation of the New York school and by the old masters of the school of Paris before that. This entailed critically assessing painting's past achievements and taking from them the issues and ideas that were felt to be most vital in bringing painting into the present and sustaining its tradition. In this way the paintings were at once radical and conservative. You might say that what the paintings were about, then, was themselves-like art's sake-but I want to say the stakes were higher than that; I want to say they were about us. Think about what you value most in your past, think about how you'd like to extend that value into your present-think about these paintings as a model for lived experience.'

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