It is one of those days when the image of a painting speaks more clearly than anything I have to say. Enjoy! One note: the color in today's reproduction of Untitled Triptych-08·13·2014 is remarkably accurate. This verisimilitude rarely happens, and is thus surprisingly rewarding. (Remember to click on the image to expand it for better viewing.)
Below yesterday's drawing is a quote from this week's issue of The New Yorker: please read.
Color-field climaxed a modern ambition to expunge narrative content from painting. You were meant to be alone―"autonomous" was a byword―in the wordless communion with art, as with a sunset. But art, unlike nature, requires someone to perform an act of will, and where there's a mind directing a hand there's a story. If the story is excluded from a picture, it will reconstitute around it as art criticism, which provides a set of thoughts for the reasons that, as you look, you should abandon thinking. That isn't fair to individual aesthetic experience, which may find drama in abstraction and transport in realism. It also leaves out of account the worldly circumstances that impel and reward changes in art. Those turned out, by the end of the sixties, to endorse almost anything but color-field. Color-field paintings are period artifacts, some of them lastingly enjoyable, of a peculiar presumption.
In reaction to these words of Peter Schjeldahl I say, "Right On!" I also believe it is correct to apply Schjeldahl's statement, that Color-field paintings are "period artifacts," to the works of Jackson Pollack, and perhaps to those of Andy Warhol (my jury on the overall oeuvre of Warhol is still out).
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