Monday, 23 September 2019


Description of the work of a 20C American painter:

...... these works—included in the exhibition—are now clearly recognized as works of pure genius and are almost priceless.

So, not totally priceless, but remarkable enough to receive the accolade of 'genius'. What could this be? The work of Cy Twombly, whose visual exercises struck the heart of every viewer who thus recognized the state of his/her own inner life. Obviously, as can be seen when the link underneath is followed, this type of work is not about visuals, but about the ideas around it, and the intention of the maker. It is an 'art form' where content has been completely transferred from the object into the rarified sphere of ideas, which can be easily manipulated because being so disconnected from the reality of the object.

There is more:

It is remarkable how powerfully these early works pulsate and vibrate with the intense energy that the artist invested into them almost 70 years ago and it is easy to see why his professor, Robert Motherwell, said “there is nothing to teach him.”


During the 1970s Twombly was championed by Yvon Lambert, the French gallerist  who instinctively grasped Twombly’s genius and exhibited his first solo show in Paris, in 1971. Lambert’s energy, combined with a special synergy between him and the artist, generated enough interest in Twombly’s work to bring about an exhibition of works on paper at the Musee d’art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 1976.

Obviously, such 'art' is infective where the absence of aesthetics offers space for psychopathological projection. Here is the source, which reads like a spoof, a hilarious joke, to caricature the nonsense of such 'art'. But no, it is a deadly serious exercise:

1 comment:

  1. Jacques Ellul on minimalist art and art critics from The Empire of Non-Sense
    page 154

    Clearly minimalist and post-minimalist paintings and sculptures are nothing, absolutely nothing, without explanatory discourse. We are told that it is a "mental" art, which now requires conceptualization and no longer the sentimentality that has ruled art for too long. I can buy that. But I do not see in what way a red X traced on a white sheet is in any way "conceptual." Now, I must explain. A work like this has no character or any intellectually discernible quality unless the artist or the master know-it-all steps up and reveals the intellectual process, the means of understanding, and the logic of the work. This is what we could call an "instruction manual of poetics." I'll buy that, too. But why should this act of drawing two bars on paper be a greater act of creation than that of a lathe operator in a workshop?