Unconventional Realists

THE CONVENTIONAL ARTIST OPERATES not only within the rules, precepts and formulas developed by earlier artists and given to him by his immediate predecessors but also within a ready-made social and institutional position inherited from them. At the moment, within representation, the two polar extremes of violent Expressionism and neo-academic realism are most conventional. A great deal of good painting by standards recently or more remotely evolved diverges towards these two extremes. The Pop painter is not on this continuum at all. He is essentially manipulating images and their stylizations within an abstract context. He is no more interested in the maniera of, say, a Parmagianino, a counterfeit, elegant yet self-consistent world, than he is in the believability of Chardin. What he is interested in is his stylization, the way in which he arbitrarily changes and manipulates the forms,

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