ART: Basic Design. Abstraction/Representation.

From: IN%"[email protected]" "Art Criticism Discussion Forum" 28-AUG-199
To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Subj: the basics

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Date: Fri, 28 Aug 1992 02:29:03 EDT
From: MM <[email protected]>
Subject: the basics
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To: Howard Lawrence <[email protected]>
Reply-to: Art Criticism Discussion Forum <[email protected]>

Ok the conventional wisdom is that you learn the basics and then you
experiment. That has meant that you learn representational drawing and painting
and then you move on to abstraction (experimentation) if you wish. I still
hear this propounded as a model. My question is this: doesn't it make as much
sense to think of abstraction now as the basics, so that a painter should not
even attempt to do representational work until s/he has become accomplished
in abstraction. I tend to agree with Francis Bacon's views on the deadness
of illustrative work, illustrative marks, and it would seem that an immersion
in abstraction, from which representational work might eventually arise (simi-
lar in some ways to Bacon's actual working methods), would be more logical.
This is an old-fashioned question to many, of course, but not everyone has
abandoned work which must encounter the tension between abstraction and
representation. In literature the battle is won easily by representation
every time because of the factor of boredom in non-representational language,
but that doesn't hold true in painting. Why did I like Cy Twombley's huge
canvases with scribble on them? Why do I like scribble? How would you know?
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