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?