Topics in American Art since 1945

By Lawrence Alloway | Go to book overview

THE SIXTIES, I

Hard Edge and Systems

Common to these articles on Abstract art after Abstract Expres-
sionism is an idea of order that is in opposition to the assumption
that the order in a work of art is the symbol of a larger, possibly
universal, order. The decisions of the artist, without external
sanction, are taken as the source of order. My intention was to
resist the platonic elements that are so strong in early Abstract
art theory. I derived the idea of arbitrary order, in part at least,
from Norbert Wiener's formulation of order as an improbable
form of structure 1. rather than an inherent pattern. By viewing
order as personal and arbitrary I felt free to appreciate the in-
ternal syntax of art without being restricted to a form of art for
art's sake. I viewed formal play as the projection of a particular
set of human decisions without the support of absolute beliefs.
Whether the unit of work to be examined is an individual painting
or an artist's development, the formality discernible is evidence
of humanity rather than detachment, of autobiography rather
than impersonality.

____________________
1.
Norbert Weiner, The Human Use of Human Beings (orig. ed., 1950; repr. New York, 1969).

-65-

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Topics in American Art since 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Topics in American Art Since 1945 *
  • Contents 7
  • List of Illustrations 9
  • Introduction 11
  • Acknowledgments 13
  • Abstract Expressionism 15
  • The Biomorphic '40s 17
  • Melpomene and Graffiti - Adolph Gottlieb's Early Work 25
  • The American Sublime 31
  • Barnett Newman - The Stations of the Cross and the Subjects of the Artist 42
  • Jackson Pollock's Black Paintings 52
  • Jackson Pollock's "Psychoanalytic Drawings" 58
  • Willem De Kooning 62
  • The Sixties, I - Hard Edge and Systems 65
  • Leon Polk Smith 67
  • Systemic Painting 76
  • Serial Forms 92
  • Sol Lewitt 96
  • Agnes Martin - (with an Appendix) 100
  • Gesture into Form - The Later Paintings of Norman Bluhm 111
  • The Sixties, II - Pop Art 117
  • Pop Art - The Words 119
  • Jim Dine 123
  • Rauschenberg's Graphics 125
  • Jasper Johns' Map 136
  • Marilyn as Subject Matter 140
  • Roy Lichtenstein's Period Style 145
  • The Reuben Gallery - A Chronology 151
  • In Place 155
  • The Sixties, III - Problems of Representation 161
  • Hi-Way Culture - (with Notes on Alan D'Arcangelo) 163
  • Art as Likeness - (with a Note on Post-Pop Art) 171
  • George Segal 182
  • Photo-Realism 185
  • Art and Interface 193
  • Allan Kaprow, Two Views 195
  • Artists and Photographs 201
  • The Expanding and Disappearing Work of Art 207
  • Stolen - (with Arakawa: an Interview) 213
  • Radio City Music Hall 218
  • Robert Smithson's Development 221
  • Art Criticism and Society 237
  • Notes on Op Art 239
  • The Public Sculpture Problem 245
  • The Uses and Limits of Art Criticism 251
  • Index 271
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