Thursday, August 23, 2012

"... over the next two years Irwin did nothing but paint the same painting over and over again. How Irwin arrived at this notion of continual repetition is not completely clear, although it is interesting that here again he mentions [Giorgio] Morandi as an example. 'One of the extraordinary things about Morandi's achievements,' he asserts, 'is precisely the spareness of his means. It's always those same bottles on that same table. On a conceptual level, the subject remains constant. One could, I suppose, insist upon interpreting the relationship between various sets of bottles. But what Morandi did there was to take the same subject to the point of total boredom, to the point where there was no way you could – or he could, anyway – seriously any longer be involved with them as ideas or topics. I mean, through sheer reptition he entirely drained them of that kind of meaning: they lost that kind of indentification and became open elements within the painting dialogue he was having. And the remarkable thing was that although the content of those paintings, in the literate sense, stayed exactly the same, the paintings changed radically. I mean, each painting became a whole new delving into and development of the physical, perceptual relationships within the painting."

from Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees by Lawrence Weschler

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