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Colpitt’s claim for “late-modern” abstraction is that its evolution comes to a halt or completion and enters a different kind of developmental phase in the postwar years, with specific emphasis placed on the paintings of Ad Reinhardt and Frank Stella.
The contributors and artists in Ryan’s volume include Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, who offers a further introductory essay, and texts by Andrew Wilson on Ian Davenport, David Moos on Lydia Dona, Max Wechsler on Günther Förg, Guy Tosatto on Bernard Frize, David Joselit on Mary Heilmann, Andrew Benjamin on Shirley Kaneda, Joseph Masheck on Jonathan Lasker, Carlos Basualdo on Fabian Marcaccio, Peter Schjeldahl on Thomas Nozkowski, Arthur C.
Danto on David Reed, Robert Pincus-Witten on Gary Stephan, and Jennifer Higgie on Jessica Stockholder.
While Colpitt and Ryan seem to want to hold onto abstraction as the key term for painting, we are reminded by Crimp’s essay of the impact of questions posed about the medium that cannot necessarily be reduced to claims of abstraction.
Like Crimp’s, Nodelman’s essay from 1978 recognizes the challenges posed to painting by different practices explored during the 1960s by works that use “actual” space: sculpture, installation, photography, and performance.
Indeed, his inquiries reopen how painting as such responded to the “crisis” that different artistic practices (primarily Minimalism and Conceptualism in the U. And in the case of Buren, what also seems particularly significant is that his practices cannot be reduced to questions of abstraction, but instead demand an entirely different vocabulary of terms and issues.
Even as this artist’s work claims a reference to painting, it becomes a way of exploring the critical limits of painting’s condition, rather than continuing to contribute to a legacy understood in terms of abstraction.
The essays construct a rather tight circle around each artist’s practice and our subsequent perception of it, which is not surprising given that we know the artists have selected the texts themselves.
Since the interviews rarely challenge the assumptions behind the essays or pursue further the critical matters that are explored in them, little sustained critical purchase is gained in relation either to these issues or the terms that frame the volume as a whole.
Nodelman notes that a question emerged “as to whether the fundamental mode of experience upon which painting depends remains a viable one in the late twentieth century” (Colpitt 75).
In his turn toward this issue of how we experience painting, Nodelman’s contention resonates strongly with our own contemporary situation, with the dominance of installation, photography, and interactive art.