Monday, January 25, 2010

As the art object returns...

Signs as meaning structures
"I was at the last vestige of the sign. The sign no longer really meant anything. It was no longer a part of the meaning structure and so the question was, do I need it at all? How do I paint a painting without a mark, as such?"
Robert Irwin

Dispensing with traditional craft based forms of art allows the intellectual to relax, knowing that they will not be pressed to produce an object which reveals their level of skill and training in traditional art forms. The suggestion that craft may be re-emerging as an important element of new art presents a conundrum for those that have triumphed the ideals of conceptualism and the passe nature of any art that leans toward aesthetic decoration. What would be the role of an artist that cannot draw or paint well enough to produce a convincing representational work in an art world whose tastes have traveled away from sheer conceptual wrangling toward a hybrid form of art that requires an artist to incorporate the emotive language of traditional craft along with a depth of contextual intentionality? The answer is that they would struggle to keep up.

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