Comments on: Inventing Abstraction http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/ 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: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-138087 Sat, 13 Apr 2013 09:13:04 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-138087 I would wholeheartedly agree with Alan that this essay is excellent and timely.A pity the curators are not forced to read it and respond.I did see the show,but at a pace as my daughter saw Tatlins tower and began screaming,forcing a rapid exit.I can only say somewhere during this walk through MOMA,I saw Mondrians Broadway Boogie Woogie and it shimmered and shined,to such an extent, it put Kupka in the shade and made the older Abstractionists look very dull.I still feel SEEING Art in the flesh and re/examining our new responses is essential to any reappraisal.

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By: bern http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-119734 Tue, 12 Mar 2013 04:51:23 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-119734 the catalogue explicitly states that Picasso was not an abstract artist simply a catalyst for other artists to take his analytic cubism further

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-113348 Sun, 03 Mar 2013 00:18:57 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-113348 I used to feel the way you do about early abstraction (Kupka, Delaunay etc.) but now I’m not so sure. One can acquire an affection for bad art, no? And realize it’s not so bad. In some cases the “idea” is lost, or there wasn’t much of an idea to begin with – all the better. What matters is the potential for future work that might be there.

Mondrian is idea laden – Malevich again not so sure. Boris Groys once told me that Malevich’s writing has never been adequately translated because it is so difficult. It’s not only full of avant-garde language games but you have to understand Ukrainian idioms and be able to hear the ironies and jokes between the lines.

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By: John Bunker http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-112949 Sat, 02 Mar 2013 10:26:17 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-112949 Just as modern art stands as an Island of revolt in the narrow stream of western aesthetics, the primitive art traditions stand apart as authentic aesthetic accomplishments that flourished without benefit of European history…….
Barnett Newman 1946.

There is an answer to all those who assume that modern abstract art is the esoteric exercise of a snobbish elite, for among the [supposedly] simple people’s, abstract art was the normal, well-understood dominant tradition. Shall we say that modern man has lost the ability to think on so high a level?
Barnett Newman 1946.

I agree on the whole Robin but I think Newman in particular is a much more complex player in the contrary currents that formed what we call now Abstract Expressionism.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-112547 Fri, 01 Mar 2013 17:09:22 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-112547 I suspect, though it goes rather against the grain to say so, that much of this early abstraction takes “the idea” as paramount, and that rather does relate it to Duchamp. I’d have to say that in my mind the conceptualisations of Malevich (and even Mondrian) are closer to Duchamp than they are to Monet and Matisse. It strikes me that this early abstraction requires a large degree of restricted historical contextualisation to be taken so seriously. It is for the most part crude stuff. In comparison with much from either the history of figurative Western painting (none of this would hold a candle to a decent Manet), or indeed the very long history of abstract art and decoration (see the G. Roger Denson article on Huff Post) from around the world and down the ages, it’s mostly poor. There are stacks of textiles, for example, from many countries and periods, that would knock these paintings into a cocked hat. Much abstract art relies upon “the idea” to attempt to escape from that unfortunate comparison and sell itself as something more meaningful. For a while, it seemed like abstract expressionism would free up abstract painting from such over-conceptualisation and return it to the real, but that didn’t last long before the likes of Newman and Rothko got their big metaphysical mitts all over it.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-111602 Thu, 28 Feb 2013 07:42:15 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-111602 Still didn’t become an abstract artist until after the period in this exhibition (he was only 6 in 1910!). However by coincidence there is an article on Still coming up on Abstract Critical.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-111306 Wed, 27 Feb 2013 21:29:50 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-111306 huffingtonpost.com/g-roger-denson/colonizing-abstraction-mo_b_2683159.html …

I hope Abstract Critical don’t mind me posting this link, but there’s a very interesting article on this show, that echos Kaufmann’s critique, regarding the roots of abstraction in Western culture. G. Roger Denson argues that the show should have been called ‘Re-inventing Abstraction’, after all, abstraction has been around for 35,000 years and is evidenced in practically all indigenous cultures, since. I think Sam picks up on the idea that the major shift is putting ‘abstract’ data on a flat canvas, surely emphasizing illusionistic representation of form; the up-until-then pictorial function of paint on canvas. However, having done this, the shift seems to be away from representation to notions of signification, when the one fact of a 2D painted canvas is that it is form representative, no matter what attempts to deny it.

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By: John Holland http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-109271 Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:31:34 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-109271 Yes- in some way, I suppose, it’s hard to imagine any colour on on a surface that is wholly without SOME level of illusion- that’s in the nature of the eye’s reception of colour.
Mind you, I don’t really go along with Heron’s idea that Mondrian denied “spacial necessity”.

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By: M.K. Hajdin http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-109161 Sat, 23 Feb 2013 14:05:49 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-109161 I’m surprised and a bit disappointed to see no reference to Clyfford Still, being the first of the abstract expressionists to go fully abstract.

I wonder if the problem with coherent narratives in general stems from the increasing atomization of society.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/inventing-abstraction/#comment-109003 Sat, 23 Feb 2013 07:41:51 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6661#comment-109003 I agree on the importance of a dynamic between materiality / illusion. But I’m pretty sure (quite a while since I read him) that Greenberg may have argued for the rejection of modelling but he didn’t argue for the rejection of illusion. His flatness was a particular kind of flatness. Certainly the ‘flatness’ of Olitski, Noland etc is one which contains illusion, however thin, or infinite-shallow that may be.

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