oh, scott…hero

wow. scott walker continues going about being absolutely peerless, churning out material that, shucks, maybe actually deserves the pitchfork guy’s slap-dash “high-modern” assignation. it’s high modern to me kinda like di chirico or Eliot.  for all the signifying this or that or whatever, no amount of recognizable imagery, no amount of form can pierce it’s hermetic, monist being-by-being-for-itself-ness. it’s so much more than human, this art… it exemplifies how abstraction can be political, and how ‘politics’ can be reduced to wallpaper via a lesser angel’s idea of verite. night-night.

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2 Responses to “oh, scott…hero”

  1. Will-bro Says:

    It’s interesting that you’d consider de Chirico to be grouped as high modern. Can you explain that a little further? What do you think would be the high modern elements of his work? I don’t really know if I’d be willing to make that particular assignment to him myself. For me, the earliest stuff I’d be able to designate as “high” modernism in the medium of painting would be, say, something like Mondrian (i.e., the emphasis upon flatness, the grid, etc…), but even moreso with postwar movements that begin in America, then move to catch on (or perhaps more rightly, be thrust upon) places elsewhere. In particular, I’m thinking of abstract expressionism as the high modernist mode of painting par excellence (i.e., Greenberg’s seminal essay “Avant-Garde and Kitsch” and the later, yet well-researched and incisive book by Serge Guilbaut, “How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art”). I just don’t really see it in de Chirico, though, particularly in the continued use of depth and space in his works, which I would regard as innately tied to the development of perspective and three-dimensional space coming out of the “development” (if that word is indeed appropriate at this point) of painting during Renaissance.

    As for abstraction’s political nature – yes, this goes without saying. I recently was griped by a paper I heard about where a doctoral student was working on abstract expressionism’s appearance in Latin America during its second-wave phase and remember having huge problems with the fact that her argument revolved around ab-ex’s inherent “freedoms.” If she had done the slightest bit of research on ab-ex exhibitions elsewhere, particularly in the Fifties and Sixties in Europe and, later, Japan, she’d have (hopefully) discovered that the very freedom she was pushing as her primary point was just a gimmick – a selling point – for Cold War political rhetoric of East versus West and seen the whole movement as a great colonizing effort in terms of culture.

  2. david Says:

    will, been teaching art history much lately?


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