Inflated Phrases

Some while ago, I reported on an excellent essay by Professor Christian Demand in which he noted that much writing about art is a “degenerate form of argumentative speech”, covering subjective opinion with inflated, vague, and pompous phraseology.  I think I’ve found the perfect example.

This is a painting by Lucio Fontana called “Concetto spaziale, Atese” and was created in 1965.  It consists of a 28″ x 24″ canvas painted grey and slashed seven times by a blade.  It forms part of his “slash” series begun in 1958 and described by the artist as “art for the Space Age”.  It was sold this morning at Christies in London for $1,006,000.

I don’t care too much for it, but the point I am making doesn’t rely on whether one “likes” the work or not.   The contextual view of the work given in the Christies catalog states:

With his radical act of taking a blade to the canvas and inserting a third dimension into a two-dimension plane surface, Fontana dissolves the boundaries of the pictorial space entering a new realm of artistic discovery.  In the present work, seven rhythmic slashes penetrate into the purity of the monochrome alluding to the eternal cosmic order, where time, space and movement are synthesized. Within this new sculpted space mankind is left alone to confront himself with the vastness of the universe.

Really?  I am left to confront the idea that someone believes this is worth a million bucks.  Are they overwhelmed by the bullshit, or am I really missing some serious point here?

2 Responses to Inflated Phrases

  1. Jeff Glen says:

    No Jak, we are all missing the point. There are people out there that will pay 1 million bucks for nothing. Now excluding the investor types who buys this stuff only to sell, there are people out there that really have no greater use for money than for crap like this. Maybe I am too much of a commoner but if this was hanging in my living room I would be laughed at. If instead I had a picture from Robert Bateman I am sure it would draw more positive attention. In fact we have two paintings done by a friend, one of Che from Cuba and one my grandmother did for me based on a picture from Tibet – what could be better?

  2. raymond dumas says:

    yes you both really are missing a serious point , as for being laughed at for having such paintings on you wall , you should reconsider who your inviting over to your place.

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