A look at The Anderson Collections Lucifer by Jackson Pollock... a painting I have problems with.
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Robert Arneson was a funny, funny man. Here, he's playing with some really neat thoughts in a series that is closer-related to a moving picture than to ceramics. The idea is that a brick is slowly sinking through a plate that is full of water... or is it?
The point is not that it's a literal plate of water, but that it's a plate. The point isn't that the brick is sinking; it's that the brick is a piece of ceramic made to look like a brick. In many ways, this is Magritte's picture of a pipe that is NOT a pipe. This is not a brick, but a representation of a brick. This is not a plate, but a representation of a plate, and not only that, but it's not truly a representation of a plate, but a representation of a plate as a pool.
There's also an idea that seems to come across a lot in Arneson's work. The idea that the critics HATE what he's doing. It's as if he's flippin' 'em the bird. This work is a brick, sinking. That's exactly how he expected his art to go over, which is a lovely thought when you look at how Arneson's Funk has been transformed into a defining form of California Art.
Hans Hofmann may be th emost important figure in the development of Abstract Expressionism as well as Contemporary Art in general. He trained so many, gave so many artists breaks, allowed for the development of new styles and techniques within a world that had not yet been even slightly explored. His style was stripped down to the point of absolute perfection shining through. "The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak" he once said.
And with all that in my head, this is, by far, the dullest Hofmann I have ever seen.
There is nothing here. It is an attempt at Mondrian that failed. A pass at Fernand Leger or Stuart Davis that slipped too far away. A cubist work without time present. There is nothing here, and while Hofmann, a favorite of mine, often breaks through, takes his shapes and turns them loose on a canvas that may not be ready for them, here, there is nothing.
Christopher J Garcia - Curator, Fan Writer, Podcaster, and a guy who just loves art.