Comments on: The Black Square http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/ 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: Robert Verrill http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-742023 Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:34:57 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-742023 Robert Linsley’s otherwise thoughtful and perceptive article ends on a strange note. How can anything that is visibly handmade not contain an element of expression and subjectivity, particularly abstract art. And why would the artist not want their work to contain those elements. Isn’t that what makes all art reachable by other human beings?

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-734353 Thu, 07 Aug 2014 08:20:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-734353 So… Today’s the day, mark it well, that John Bunker risks life, limb and his artistic career by visiting the Malevich. What’s to become of him? Will he discover in “The Black Square” salvation or nemesis? Will he find in it a perfect summation of dumb-ass minimal banality, or, after much intense and determined scrutiny, will he find those extremely complex – though damnably hard to spot – internal relationships that have so damnably been insinuated? Well, and if he finds them, will he damn-well point them out to us?

Will he find, as some do, that it is difficult – nay, impossible even – to separate the black square from the white ground (oops! I think I just did)? Will he find in all the endearing and pathetic wonkiness of that unsquare square a touching human dimension of freedom that militates against God, Fascism and the Ideal in all its damned worst oppressiveness? Will he seek and find hidden value in the aged cracking of the very fabric of the very paint; will he stumble upon progressiveness and hope in all its very ordinariness, and yet, simultaneously and strangely, unearth the portents of a nihilistic future foretold, a future that in its very quiddity will forgo all dreams of meaning? Will he concur and momentously conclude, as many do, that the characteristic of hand-made-ness, provided of course it excludes subjective-ness and expressive-ness, is just the very thing for abstraction, and probably all it needs, ever, damn it?

Will he find in its magnificently meaningless wonkiness a matchless fury of the senses that smashes down all cronyism and establishes a new political order, whilst also niftily and surreptitiously swimming beyond the ensuing deluge of bathos, pathos and irony to reach a transcendental Eros?

Knowing John, he could well find in “The Black Square” a blistering visceral rigour and intensity, an infinite variation of scale, size and colour, or even a reflection of his very own conflicted subjectivity. Then again, he’ll maybe just walk quickly past, too embarrassed to be seen spending time contemplating something that is less interesting than gazing at his own shoes.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-727898 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:19:44 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-727898 Quite so. A rather good painter called Peter Kinley once told me of an interesting way to judge the value of art. What would you think of it (the painting or sculpture) if you dug it up by chance in your back garden? Crude but effective.

As for you John B., well… it may already be too late! In all seriousness, I’d be interested to know if you think Malevich actually got better as his career went on.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-727884 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 19:09:28 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-727884 Everything one sees is part of the visual field, as such it has pictorial value, it’s capacity to be seen other than what it is, the pavement as space and form as opposed to it being tarmac, concrete etc. The idea of the square being what it is, really there and that, is of curiosity to some, probably because if the mind identifies with a 2D shape, then what does that say about the mind? That we are all robots? The 2D shape is a peculiar thing in 3D space. But this has been around since the first writing upon a clay tablet, so it’s not as radical as is claimed, similarly Duchamp’s urinal and it’s capacity to be pictorial as part of the visual field. Velaszuez did this over 500 years ago with his painting of a peasant cooking eggs. The question of 2D is of interest, but of more interest to me, is the capacity of the 2D to represent 3D.

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By: Chris Hargens http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-727476 Mon, 04 Aug 2014 14:21:12 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-727476 So let’s say came upon this black square unawares, perhaps attached to a wall in some big-city alley. Would I give it much notice? If I subtract the artist from the equation, is there much to distinguish it from many of the other objects I might encounter in that alley? Couldn’t some of those other objects equally serve as subjects for aesthetic contemplation?

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By: John Bunker http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-725919 Sun, 03 Aug 2014 19:38:56 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-725919 It is with great trepidation and no small sense of foreboding that I have finally made my decision. I am to visit Malevich’s ‘Black Square’ next Thursday at 11am.

I’ve amended my will and spoken at length with my wife, children and other important family members. Now that I’ve been warned by Robin of Black Square’s deadly and malevolent influence, I’m rather concerned for all my fellow artists and the tens of thousands of other good members of our artistically inclined public who have and will visit it…

Robin’s words seem to echo around my studio as I write, clustering for a moment in a dark cracked and wonky squarish void, in a corner, high on a wall…… “In the end came utter disarray, mentally, physically, artistically.” Crikey!

If you don’t hear from me again- then you know what fate may have dealt me. Rather than the hunted sailor’s ‘Black Spot’, I have been handed the haunted artist’s ‘Black Square’……

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-723680 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 14:58:14 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-723680 I thought the point of ‘abstraction’ was the removal of all cultural and visual pareidolia, to reveal the supreme ‘God’ image.
I’m guilty here too of considering Malevich’s ideological goals, Suprematism, a revelation of the 4th dimension.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-723481 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:17:01 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-723481 You’re not looking at it in a formalist way, but bringing to the picture romantic notions of politics which you’re projecting on to it.

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By: Peter Stott http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-723461 Sat, 02 Aug 2014 13:06:53 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-723461 So to you ‘abstraction’ is a 2D symbol not an illusionistic representation of something 3D. It’s a sign, rather like a road sign.

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By: Patrick Jones http://abstractcritical.com/note/the-black-square/#comment-721535 Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:48:40 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=8389#comment-721535 Without having seen the show and no history book at hand,I cannot dis-associate the radical vision from events on the ground.The Black Square to me represents an anarchist/socialist Tabla rasa of hierarchical structures of the White Russian regime.The Black negated its White Czarist enemy,smashing its institutions and cronism.It has always fascinated me that Abstract Art was born alongside an earthquake of political idealism and Eutopian longings.It is implicit in its lanquage.

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