Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday November 30, 2008

Filed under: General,Geometry — m759 @ 10:31 AM
Abstraction and Faith

From Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective, edited by Gary Garrels, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 376:

by Sol LeWitt

The best that can be said for either the square or the cube is that they are relatively uninteresting in themselves. Being basic representations of two- and three-dimensional form, they lack the expressive force of other more interesting forms and shapes. They are standard and universally recognized, no initiation being required of the viewer; it is immediately evident that a square is a square and a cube a cube. Released from the necessity of being significant in themselves, they can be better used as grammatical devices from which the work may proceed.

Reprinted from Lucy R. Lippard et al., "Homage to the Square," Art in America 55, No. 4 (July-August 1967): 54. (LeWitt's contribution was originally untitled.)

A vulgarized version
of LeWitt's remarks
appears on a webpage of
the National Gallery of Art.

Today's Sermon

"Closing the Circle on Abstract Art"

On Kirk Varnedoe's National Gallery lectures in 2003 (Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, Sunday, May 18, 2003):

"Varnedoe's lectures were ultimately about faith, about his faith in the power of abstraction, and abstraction as a kind of anti-religious faith in itself."

For related remarks on abstraction perhaps less easily vulgarized than those of LeWitt, see Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

For the relation of this sort of geometry to faith, see All Hallows' Eve, 2006.

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