Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Reductive Impluse

Piet Mondrian, No. 9, The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC

"Speaking in the broadest art-historical terms, a reductive sensibility pervades much of the avant-garde art of the twentieth century. Spanning from its earliest decades to the new millenium, a progressive aesthetics of formal clarity developed during the century in tandem with the evolution of abstraction. During the 1920s, Piet Mondrian's omission of all extraneous details from his geometric paintings was prompted by a utopian impulse that equated purity of form with spiritual transcendence."
-- Nancy Spector, from Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated), Guggenheim Museum, 2004

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Returning, oil on canvas, 36x36 inches, © 2009 Diane McGregor

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, remembered gate
When the last of earth left to discover
Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river
The voice of the hidden waterfall
And the children in the apple-tree
Not known, because not looked for
But heard, half-heard, in the stillness
Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always --
A condition of complete simplicity...

- T.S. Eliot, from "Four Quartets"