Comments on: ‘A surprise dragging the signs’[1]: The Art Criticism of John Ashbery http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: John Holland http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-270203 Mon, 14 Oct 2013 18:41:36 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-270203 Yes- ‘practice’- I think it’s meant to make artists feel like more important people, such as doctors or lawyers. It’s a manifestation of the niggling fear in the contemporary art world that art is a bit silly, a bit trivial, to be shored up with the language of the social sciences (which, in turn, aped the language of the medical and physical sciences), and the need to be seen at all times in the close company of Very Important Subjects.

My favourite art word of the moment is ‘interrogate’- as in ‘the strategy of the artist’s practice is the interrogation of the liminal ontology of gender identity.’ The word brings a nice touch of torture-porn to art discourse, I think.

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By: Pete Hoida http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-268052 Sat, 12 Oct 2013 08:55:40 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-268052 Response to John Bunker.

Playful dig at the end there. But surely John, you are a painter making paintings not “practicing”.
This is new-labourish language, often appearing alongside a nod towards post-modernism. The S word ? This by the way is not a crit of your comment, though I do wonder if you meant to say DNA past on. Did you mean pasted ?

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By: John Bunker http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-263728 Tue, 08 Oct 2013 08:39:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-263728 A little wander around Hauser and Wirth’s Saville Row showrooms at the moment gives some lively jarring perspectives on these different notions of ‘academicism’. It was particularly revealing to contrast Morris Louis’ ‘Gamma Tau’ 1960 with Jim Dine’s ‘The Hammer Acts’ of 1962- if only because both fore-front large areas of naked canvas for seemingly very different purposes. With Louis we get this sense of an attempt at absolute ‘truthfulness’ to the material properties of painting in its pursuit of a pure optical intensity. Or is this the turning point where a certain brand of Modernism becomes reductive to the point of retreating into its own form of ‘academicism’- self referential, neutered? Is it not a vicious ( though well played out) irony that the attempt to get at painting’s essential qualities leads to it sucking the living day lights out of itself?

Dine’s focus seems to be on the artist’s ‘labour’ via theatrical fabrications (both literal and metaphorical by the use of found objects etc) and what might be a quotidian matter-of-factness toward the idea of painting as creative endeavour. Is this approach ‘academic’ in its need for ‘specialists’ to heave symbolic weight on Dine’s use of otherwise mundane everyday objects like hammers, pliers and chisels etc?

I’m interested in these different approaches to art making and how their DNA has been past on in the last 50 odd years…. How does the future of abstraction grow with them or not here in the teens of the 21st century?

This sentence leapt out at me from Alan Gouk’s excellent piece on Greenberg……

“….. for a moment’s thought will reveal that the great innovators (as in any sphere of thought) are more open to the cross-fertilization of ideas from other media than to reduction.”

Many thanks for that Alan! Gives me hope! And so does the winner of the writing prize! James Hassall navigates abstraction’s history brilliantly and avoids so many of the historical/ philosophical dead ends that can hold back one’s development, or dare I say it, ‘practice’.
I live and learn…….

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By: John Holland http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-263592 Tue, 08 Oct 2013 06:19:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-263592 Sorry, I misread ‘undone’. Blind as well as senile.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-261275 Sat, 05 Oct 2013 01:48:16 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-261275 Sonny Rollins? Pshaw, you haven’t lived, you’ve got to play an instrument and then you’ll know. Art Pepper, that’s what you want to listen to. :-)

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-261224 Sat, 05 Oct 2013 00:10:27 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-261224 There might well be contributions on Ab Crit that argue for an academic approach to making art,it is after all a liberal place that welcomes all sorts of views, opinions and voices not all of which will meet with universal approval. What I am saying is that it isn’t obvious to me that academicism(on Ab Crit)is in any way a dominant or strong voice as you seem to suggest. I respect your choice not to enter what you see as invidious territory but none if this stuff is personal is it and its only Art we’re talking about here anyway.

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By: Pete Hoida http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-261104 Fri, 04 Oct 2013 20:27:16 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-261104 Cross out my last sentence. There are quite a few examples of academicism, even on Ab Crit, it would be invidious to pick on one. To re-hash the obvious is tiresome, curators rule, and the evidence is rife; art students are infected, making “statements”, and “practice”. If the language is ugly the man lacks style. Snib the latch.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-261083 Fri, 04 Oct 2013 19:51:43 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-261083 What centre? To paraphrase Smithson quoting Pascal – the art world is a circle whose edge is everywhere and centre nowhere.

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By: Terry Ryall http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-260950 Fri, 04 Oct 2013 16:56:19 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-260950 To say that “much of the good work by Alan Gouk to counter academicism is being undone on this site” is surely a clear criticism of some of the contributions to Ab Crit. Some examples would be necessary to form a view of whether that criticism is justified. As for the final sentence of Pete Hoida’s post I don’t think that it necessarily implies that he believes Ab Crit is at the ‘centre’ but (unlike John Holland) I can quite see how Sam has taken that as its inference. Words eh, who needs them? Oh yes, those pesky poets.

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By: john holland http://abstractcritical.com/article/a-surprise-dragging-the-signs1-the-art-criticism-of-john-ashbery/#comment-260694 Fri, 04 Oct 2013 11:07:04 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=7469#comment-260694 I understood Peter as saying the opposite- that the best (ab crit and Gouk)are NOT at the centre, the centre being where academicism lies….

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