Seven colours too many lows.
That was a dull response to an unpleasant piece, but then Ive never been too concerned with that kind of response. Still, I was pleased to see the sculpture come across as quite well made.The show also included works from the artists studio—among them a small white canvas, I dont know where its from, but it was just an ordinary white in the same tone as the white of the white canvases, and a drawing that I had never seen before. This was the first time that Ive seen a painting from the artists studio, and I was curious to see how it would turn out. The drawing looks like a sketch. It is in the same spirit as the sketches, but with a different direction. It is a sketch of a bird, and is like a sketch of a bird that is just coming out of the artists studio. It wasnt much to look at. The bird, however, was a bit too big for the space, and the space was filled with white acrylic. It was difficult to make out the white splashes, and the splashes were in a sort of spotty line. I thought they were splashes of white, but they werent. They were just pieces of white. But the drawing isnt drawing, and I think that is the problem with the drawings. They are more like paintings. The white splashes dont seem to represent an actual splashing. And the white splashes dont seem to represent a real splashing, either. They are just like a splattering of paint. The splatters are abstract and abstract, and are just like the splashes. I dont like that.
Seven colours too many lows. The same can be said of an attempt to articulate the tone of this work through the use of a graphic style which might be called the map of a head: the figure is divided into sections, a medium into a series of horizontal strokes. To these is added a gray-black background which moves from left to right, only to collapse back into itself, each section either blacker than the previous one, or even whiteer, and colored red. The effect is a kind of map of a head, where each section is a blank, but an absolutely recognizable, blank. To this is added a scale of a head which moves from top left to bottom right and back to the top. The map is then a continuum in which each section is a blank, but at the same time is an absolutely recognizable, map. The entire thing is very complex and has no end, which is to say that it looks like a map of a head. In fact, the style of the map is nothing like a map. The actual method of the technique is very simple. If you take the distance out of the equation, what you end up with is an absolutely recognizable image. In other words, the map is like a head of work, or a map of a head of painting. As with an abstract drawing, the map is a facsimile of the map, a map that has nothing of its own to it, which, like a map, cannot be used as a symbol. Its a map, and only through its facsimile does it carry with it the meaning of its representation. The map, therefore, is used like a sign, a medium, and an image that is representative of the map itself. In short, the map is a sign.This is not to say that the map of a head is like an abstract drawing, but there is a difference. The abstract map is a sign that is easily recognizable; it is a sign that can be used and understood.
Seven colours too many lows. Looning, being the best painter in the show, was likely to have chosen the most light-filled and most physical space to work in, and it is clear that his art works best in a very small, color-filled space. The work in the show was equally likely to have been about light and dark or light and dark or dark and light, or light and dark or light and darkness, or light and dark or nothing at all. The only obvious colorism in the show was in the artistic titles, the titles of the paintings themselves and the technical excellence of the colors in the paintings. It is as if these were the only color in the show, but as much about the paintings as about the paintings. Certainly the titles are obvious and immediately recognizable as the names of artists. As for the colors, there were many, many, many different ones and some, I think, were pretty close to being brilliant, some even bordering on being brilliant. However, as an indication of the broadness of his range of colors, the colors werent nearly as varied as the works. But some of the paintings were almost overwhelming with color. The show was a very impressive one. That, I think, is the strength of the show. It showed that the range of color is not limited to the range of brush-marks, that it is not just a question of colors being close to one another but about the color being a whole, the whole range of colors. This is the strength of color-based art. It is not just a question of choice, it is a question of combining colors.The paintings in the show were by a very young and widely known painter, Robert Hartman, who is also a member of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work has changed considerably in the past two years, but it remains virtually the same.
Seven colours too many lows. If you take a tour through the old streets of London, the main street is dominated by the English version of the World Trade Center, a symbol of the failure of both war and the Establishment, and the site of the tawdry entertainment and misery that symbolizes the failure of both war and entertainment. The exhibition is a sad indictment of our nation, but the logic of the indictment is obeyed, and the music is from a pop song by the rock group Led Zeppelin, the only surviving recording of the high and low of the day.That this was the case for some time is evidenced by the fact that the Capital of the World is the most popular tourist destination in the world, with more than one hundred million visitors a year. And yet, in spite of the widespread pilgrimage, the Capital, with its immense construction and glittering facade, has been in operation since 1914. The name of the place and its inscrutable location were both there and nowhere, and both were completely absent from this exhibition. Why? Why did the work of Robert Smithson, the architect and designer of the Capital, be relegated to the secondary position of a social monument? Why did the massive construction of the World Trade Center, which was intended to make us see both the spectacle of the capital and the site of its destruction, be relegated to the background of the work of Robert Morriss and Frank Lloyd Wrights? The answer lies in the fact that the Space Age has made possible the construction of both sites. The Capital, with its hundred-foot-high monuments, the largest in the world, has more than enough space for everything. The place is too large to be seen from above. The place is too small to be visited from a car. Capitalism has made the perfect site for all that is not great enough.
Seven colours too many lows. . . . This is a cop-out. Its a bad painting. Its not good enough. Is it that far from being a back-door comment on the Bauhaus, the lack of color makes for a tautological comment on the postmodernist makings-of-painting? In that it is so relentlessly flat, this is not merely a snub to the language of painting. This is a bad painting. Is it a bad painting? How about a bad painting? . . . . Theres something rather surreal about this, which seems to suggest that the wacky is a function of modernisms exclusive tendency toward flatness. Modernism is, in fact, about the twentieth century as much as it is about the Middle Ages, the dark ages.