Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Talkative Week

(Sol Lewitt, at our left, smiled impishly when this photo was taken and perhaps again as he ponders us discussing his conceptual art.)

This week's choice to cover the Sol Lewitt has spurred more conversation than any other piece this year. TJ Norris started us off in the gallery, where dozens of us came together Thursday night to share our thoughts and converse on the uncube, as I call it. TJ went on to post an insightful debrief of the talk he gave on his blog. LaValle started a conversation with poet Burt Kimmelman about posting one of his poems about Lewitt, which he responded to in agreement. John and I sat down over dinner Friday to discuss the cube and what we heard from TJ. He came to the Thursday night talk and thinks the Cube series is genius.

TJ pointed out that MASS MoCA has 27,000 square feet of Sol Lewitt. 27,000 square feet of concise, particular, cold, clean-lined conceptual art. "Cubism to the next level." TJ also talked about the idea that some people think of this piece and Sol's others as sacred math, but its not sacred, its real math. Its erasing certain lines, thats it. He said Sol "distrusted what it was to be an artist, removing sequentially one part at a time.."

And best of all, TJ Norris said he loves the piece, where it is, here and now, at the odd angle it sits in the CMCA of the Portland Art Museum*, and whether or not it has over a hundred missing pieces, it is complete in its incompleteness anyway.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sentences on Conceptual Art 16 - 20
16. If words are used, and they proceed from ideas about art, then they are art and not literature; numbers are not mathematics.
17. All ideas are art if they are concerned with art and fall within the conventions of art.
18. One usually understands the art of the past by applying the convention of the present, thus misunderstanding the art of the past.
19. The conventions of art are altered by works of art.
20. Successful art changes our understanding of the conventions by altering our perceptions.