Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Fragments of the world

Nothing new, but it bears repeating.

A system: Sol Lewitt, 2003. Interview by Saul Ostrow, in Bomb Magazine, Issue 85. LeWitt: "What [the wall drawings] looked like wasn’t important. It didn’t matter what you did as long as the lines were distributed randomly throughout the area. In many of the wall pieces there is very little latitude for the draftsman or draftswoman to make changes, but it is evident anyway, visually, that different people make different works. I have done other pieces that give the draftsperson a great liberty in interpreting an action. In this way the appearance of the work is secondary to the idea of the work, which makes the idea of primary importance. The system is the work of art; the visual work of art is the proof of the system. The visual aspect can’t be understood without understanding the system. It isn’t what it looks like but what it is that is of basic importance."
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A process: Richard Serra, 2006. Interview with Phong Bui, in The Brooklyn Rail, June, 2006. Serra: "There are certain conditions that are a given and that you can rely on. In sculpture gravity is undeniable. Sculptural form must necessarily confront gravity. I am interested in process and matter, in construction, in how to open up the field. The problem for me is to address within a work circulation or movement that is outside of all representation; that is to make movement itself the subject which generates or constitutes the work. My development has been up to this point fairly logical and sequential. But it’s crucial for me to pay attention to how the work develops and maintain a critical and fresh dialogue with what it is that I’m doing and what I’m intending to do, and then try, if I can, to make the most radical breaks each time out, however, it doesn’t always happen that way."
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Fragments of the real world: Ellsworth Kelly, 2006. Touching the Void, by Gordon Burn, The Guardian, Burn: "There is a painting in the Serpentine show that is based on colours from the less doomy part of Rothko's palette: a large rectangle of orange is combined with smaller rectangles of pale green and yellow. The crucial point for Kelly - it is the one he established his reputation making - is that the three colours are contained within their own discrete panels and not painted on to a single canvas. The hard edges that separate them preserve the integrity of each colour. 'There's no dominance here,' Kelly says. 'It's like the relationship between the two of us: I'm a body, you're a body. If I did it as a single painting, the orange would be the main colour and the others its satellites. By doing it in panels, each has its own uniqueness. It's the difference between depicted space - a painted image - and literal space. I feel my paintings are fragments of the world and I'm simply digging them up and presenting them. I want to get more into the real world.' "
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