Thursday, May 10, 2007


“There’s no single theoretical discourse which is going to offer an explanation for all forms of social relations or for every mode of political practice.”
Mary Kelly

Abstract.adj./ab-strakt/ 1. having no material existence, beauty is an abstract quality.
2. theoretical rather than practical. – abstract n. 1. an abstract quality or idea. 2. a summary. 3. an example of abstract art. – abstractly adj., abstractness n. abstract art, art which does not represent things pictorially but expresses the artist’s ideas or sensations. In the abstract, regarded theoretically, he favours economy in the abstract but refuses to economize.
Abstract v. 1. To take out, to separate, to remove. 2. To make a written summary.
Abstractor n.
Abstracted adj. with one’s mind on other things, not paying attention.
Abstractedness n.
Abstraction n. 1.abstracting, removing. 2. An abstract idea. 3. Abstactedness.

Oxford dictionary 1978

Abstract.adj. /ab-strakt/ 1 relating to ideas or qualities rather than physical things.
2 (of art) using colour and shapes to create an effect rather than attempting to represent real life accurately. N. /ab-strakt/ a summary of a book or article.
- derivatives abstractly adj.
- origin Latin abstrahere ‘draw away’
abstracted. Adj. not paying attention to what is happening; preoccupied.
- derivatives abstractedly adj.
abstraction. N. 1 the quality of being abstract. 2 something which exists only as an idea. 3 a preoccupied state of mind. 4 the action of removing something.

Oxford dictionary 2005

“That, that doesn’t make any sense” Andy Warhol

Studies for skin 1 – 1V by Jasper Johns
Charcoal on paper 1962
25 ½ X 40 ¼ inches
collection of the artist

Johns had made four veraions of Study For Skin (1962) by covering himself with oil and pressing against a sheet of drafting paper, which was then dusted and rubbed lightly with powdered graphite.The image of the artist is imprisoned within the paper.
It is an image found, not drawn . Johns repeated the procedure again in 1973, this time
Only over his buttocks and genitals. The increased “weight” (the darker grey of the image), and the fact that the artist has obviously aged, add authority and poignancy.
Richard Francis

De Wain Valentine “Cantilevered Planes” 1975

In the installations, the viewer was enveloped by spaces infused with diffused coloured light; as the artist stated, “ultimately the whole space became a container of transparent colour and light” . Cantilevered Planes was composed of acrylic sheets cantilevered through a false wall so that the ends were exposed to daylight. The bevelled outer edges of each sheet were vividly defined by refracted daylight as if rimmed with neon, and the planes appeared to float in the air.
The Art of Light + Space by Jan Butterfield

Artists making performative work have sought to demonstrate that the represented body has a language and that this language of the body, like other sematic systems, is unstable. Compared to verbal language or visual symbolism, ‘the parts of speech’ of corporeal language are relatively imprecise. The body as a language is at once inflexible and too flexible. Much can be expressed, whether deliberately or not , through the body’s behaviour. Use of the body is often ritualized in an effort to contextualize and more precisely fix its meaning. Wildly contradictory reactions to the work of Chis Burden, Orlan, Gina Pane, or Hannah Wilke are evidence of the difficulty of controlling and using the body as a language. This is particularly apparent in the reactions to the work of female artists whose work involves the use of their own naked bodies. Even sympathetic critics have often come to the conclusion that artists use of their bodies as art objects is sometimes the equivalent of self –abuse or exhibitionism.
The Artist’s Body by Tracey Warr and Amelia Jones

The whole climate of what might be called L’E`poque de Fantomas is characterized by synthetic horror and a brazen black humour, partly attributable to the influence of silent films and detective novels. Mysterious events occur in a shallow space, like that of a stage play or tableau vivant, which soon replaces the uneasy perspectives of the earlier, Chirico – derived pictures. Images like Gigantic Days – which suggests a violent assault or a Kafkaesque metamorphosis of the women into a man – or the slightly earlier picture called Pleasure in which an archetypal Alice in Wonderland figure is devouring a live bird, call to mind, even more than scenes from Fantomas, both the visions of gratuitous atrocity in Lautreamont’s Les Chants De Maldoror and the hallucinatory poetics of Max Earnt’s early collages.
Magritte by Suzi Gablik

“The intention of a phenomenal art is simply the gift of seeing a little more today than you did yesterday.” Robert Irwin

“Art is Art as Art” Al Reinhardt

“The line no longer imitates the visible: it renders visible “
Paul Klee

The more erotic and melodramatic images, on the other hand, like Gigantic Days and Heart of the Matter, from the same period as the “plywood’ pictures, have a spiritual affinity with the collage – novels of Max Ernst: La Femme 100 Tetes published in paris in 1929, Reve d’une Petite Fille Que Voulut Entrer Au Carmel (1934) Also, the picture within a picture theme explored by De Chirico in his Metaphysical Interiors and by Magritte in such pictures as a Courtesan’s Palace and The Childhood of Icarus is a strong sub-element in Une Semaine De Bronte`.
Magritte by Suzi Gablik

Beyond a certain line a certain degree of abstraction a certain extreme lay the danger of the exhibitionist extremist promoter driving the whole bag of tricks into a nihilistic nothingness or zero.
Wyndham Lewis circa 1955


Evil and error in art’s own “uses” and “actions”. The sins and sufferings of art are always its own improper involvements and mixtures, its own mindless realism and expressionisms.
Ad Reinhardt
Twelve Rules for a New Academy

g.b.h. Hughes

the position of art in the women’s liberation movement is the position of women ?
in the art’s movement the history of women is the history of man
Valie Export
Women’s Art: A Manifesto (1972)

Extract from Interview: Bomb no. 50, 1994

M. Holmes: How do you paint light ? It’s ethereal.

Eric Fisschl: You don’t paint light. You feel light, you paint towards a kind of illumination. It’s both a psychic illumination as well as a physical illumination. You feel your way towards it through how colour works, your relationship to shadow and to highlight, all of those. Each one’s a metaphor. There is such a difference between something that is spotlit and something that is illuminous, shade and shadow. Very different states of being. It’s about casting something in light too. To be an artist you have to engage an audience, you have to use all these things to pull them in, to seduce them. Light is very seductive because it contains mystery and revelation simultaneous
-ly. It’s also totally outside modernism because in order to really play around with light you have to get past the flatness that is part of the modernist ethic, surface. Light is not about surface, its about non surface.