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Tuesday 04.24.07

« Retinal Reverb | Main | Just what Miami needed »

Some things to chew on

A review of
Ellsworth Kelly works in the Guardian
. So abstraction isn't a big enough
crowd pleaser at the Tate Modern? egad.

Roberta Smith spins a
wonderful web of words on Sol LeWitt

Brian Libby recaps the
Street of Eames
in Portland (aka design obsessed city rapidly trying to
end years of bleh design... related: see
new tram review

Normally I'm annoyed with focusing on the party and not the art... and I hate
Pabst (because I'm from Milwaukee Wisconsin and Pabst is the beer that made
Milwaukee famous... and it's no longer made in Milwaukee etc) but I just plain
feel like linking to ths PDXFF blog

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 24, 2007 at 22:45 | Comments (2)


Jonathan Jones comments on abstraction show that the insidious act of political spin has crept into art criticism. So, if you do not like the Elsworth Kelly show you are anti-Islamic? In saying that Islam "invented" abstraction, Jones seems to forget that the need to invent was due to the extreme proscription against making representational art which Islam inherieted from their Judeo-Christian cousins. Artists would do well to remember that the second commandment is a clear condemnation of all who create art, making artists the eternal enemey of church, and, in these days, state. What is important is that artists have always been able to co-opt or exploit church and state to the benefit of culture. While abstract Islamic art was born out of the pardox of oppression and a flourishing of math and science, one can't help wondering what opressive forces pushed Kelly into the safest recesses of abstraction? Was he too afraid of himself to brandish a signiture style, ala Pollack or Motherwell? That his pieces could have been painted by anyone, kids included, would seem to make him the predecessor of Sol Lewit, albeit with a smaller vision.

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 10:05 AM

I dont find Kelly "safe" at all... his work has a confrontational generousness that doesnt cloy at the human need for solipsism in the way that figuration often does.

I guess I just prefer measuring man by something other than man and Kelly seems to be made for that old cotemplative museum model. It's a good model... if I want pure entertainment I dont go to a museum, but if I want to feel myself thinking without even having to resort to words, then nothing beats a good art museum (preferably with a nice Kelly).

The whole "my kid could do that" debate is a dead end. Someone's kid could try but it would be different (besides a child isnt likely to have the attention span to create a rich practice and body of work)... but I respect your preference of Pollock to Kelly, to each his own taste. I like em both.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 10:26 AM

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