Log24

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Epiphany Revisited

Filed under: General,Geometry — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 AM

January 06, 2007
ART WARS: Epiphany

Picture of Nothing
On Kirk Varnedoe’s
2003 Mellon Lectures,
Pictures of Nothing“–

“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….”

Related material:

The more industrious scholars will derive considerable pleasure from describing how the art-history professors and journalists of the period 1945-75, along with so many students, intellectuals, and art tourists of every sort, actually struggled to see the paintings directly, in the old pre-World War II way, like Plato’s cave dwellers watching the shadows, without knowing what had projected them, which was the Word.”

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Log24, Aug. 23, 2005:

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–  theological analogy of Son’s procession  as Verbum Patris, 111-12″ — Index to Joyce and Aquinas, by William T. Noon, S.J., Yale University Press 1957,  second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang? Overcome by metaphysical lassitude, I finally reach over to my bookshelf for The Devil’s Bible. Turning to Genesis I read: ‘In the beginning there was nothing. And God said, ‘Let there be light!’ And there was still nothing, but now you could see it.'”
— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology, from Slate‘s “High Concept” department

'In the beginning' according to Jim Holt

“Bang.”

“…Mondrian and Malevich are not discussing canvas or pigment or graphite or any other form of matter. They are talking about Being or Mind or Spirit. From their point of view, the grid is a staircase to the Universal….”

For properties of the “nothing” represented by the 3×3 grid, see The Field of Reason. For religious material related to the above and to Epiphany, a holy day observed by some, see Plato, Pegasus, and the Evening Star and Shining Forth.


Some Context:

Quaternions in Finite Geometry

Click to enlarge.

See also Nativity.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Saturday January 6, 2007

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 9:00 PM


Picture of Nothing

On Kirk Varnedoe’s
2003 Mellon Lectures,
Pictures of Nothing“–

“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….”

The Washington Post

Related material:

The more industrious scholars
will derive considerable pleasure
from describing how the art-history
professors and journalists of the period
1945-75, along with so many students,
intellectuals, and art tourists of every
sort, actually struggled to see the
paintings directly, in the old
pre-World War II way,
like Plato’s cave dwellers
watching the shadows, without
knowing what had projected them,
which was the Word.”

— Tom Wolfe, The Painted Word

Log24, Aug. 23, 2005:

“Concept (scholastics’ verbum mentis)–
theological analogy of Son’s procession
as Verbum Patris, 111-12″

— Index to Joyce and Aquinas,
by William T. Noon, S.J.,
Yale University Press 1957,
second printing 1963, page 162

“So did God cause the big bang?
Overcome by metaphysical lassitude,
I finally reach over to my bookshelf
for The Devil’s Bible.
Turning to Genesis I read:
‘In the beginning
there was nothing.
And God said,
‘Let there be light!’
And there was still nothing,
but now you could see it.'”

— Jim Holt, Big-Bang Theology,
Slate‘s “High Concept” department

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix07/070106-Bang.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


“Bang.”

“…Mondrian and Malevich
are not discussing canvas
or pigment or graphite or
any other form of matter.
They are talking about
Being or Mind or Spirit.
From their point of view,
the grid is a staircase
to the Universal….”

Rosalind Krauss, “Grids”

For properties of the
“nothing” represented
by the 3×3 grid, see
The Field of Reason.

For religious material related
to the above and to Epiphany,
a holy day observed by some,
see Plato, Pegasus, and the
Evening Star
and Shining Forth.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Saturday May 14, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM


Art at Princeton

From Princeton University Press,
A. W. Mellon Lectures in the
Bollingen Series:

The Bollingen Cross
The Bollingen Cross
or “Gnostic wheel
of Princeton U. Press

Paths to the Absolute:
Mondrian, Malevich, Kandinsky,
Pollock, Newman, Rothko, and Still
by John Golding

Cloth | 2000 | $65.00 | ISBN: 0-691-04896-7
240 pp. | 7 x 10 | 63 color plates 109 halftones

This may illuminate Krauss’s remarks on
Mondrian and Malevich at the
conclusion of the previous entry.

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Saturday August 23, 2003

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 3:07 AM

Pictures of Nothing

‘”The artist delights to go back to the first chaos of the world… All is without forms and void. Some one said of his landscapes that they were pictures of nothing, and very like.”

William Hazlitt, 1816, on J. M. W. Turner

“William Hazlett [sic] once described Turner’s painting as ‘pictures of the elements of air, earth, and water. The artist delights to go back to the first chaos of the world…All is without form and void. Some one said of his landscapes that they were pictures of nothing and very like.   This description could equally well be applied to a Pollock, Newman, or Rothko.”

— Sonja J. Klein, thesis, The Nature of the Sublime, September 2000

The fifty-second A. W. Mellon series of Lectures in the Fine Arts was given last spring at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., by Kirk Varnedoe, art historian at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.

The lecture series was titled

Pictures of Nothing:
Abstract Art since Pollock.

 

The lectures, 2003:

Why Abstract Art? … March 30

Survivals and Fresh Starts … April 6

Minimalism … April 13

After Minimalism … April 27

Satire, Irony, and Abstract Art … May 4

Abstract Art Now … May 11

Varnedoe died on Thursday, August 14, 2003,
the day of the Great Blackout.

Pictures of Nothing:

“Record-breaking crowds turned up at the National Gallery for Kirk’s Mellon Lectures….

… the content of Kirk’s talk was miraculously subtle, as he insisted that there could be no single explanation for how abstraction works, that each piece had to be understood on its own terms — how it came to be made, what it meant then and what it has gone on to mean to viewers since.

Dour works like

Frank Stella’s early
gray-on-black canvases

Die Fahne Hoch,”
Frank Stella,
1959

“Gray on Black,”
or “Date of Death”

seemed to open up under Kirk’s touch to reveal a delicacy and complexity lost in less textured explanations.”

Blake Gopnik in the Washington Post,
Aug. 15, 2003

For another memorial to Varnedoe, see

Fahne Hoch.

A May 18 Washington Post article skillfully summarized Varnedoe’s Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery:

Closing the Circle on Abstract Art.

For more on art and nihilism, see

The Word in the Desert.

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