PRINT December 1969

Problems of Criticism VII: To Save Painting

This is the seventh of a continuing series of articles on the subject, Problems of Criticism.


Brian O’Doherty: Thus the apparent total permission for artists in New York . . . is not a total permission at all. Painting, figuration, and the textural correlates for memory and nostalgia are proscribed.

Bruce Glaser: Are you implying that you are trying to destroy painting?

Frank Stella: It’s just that you can’t go back. It’s not a question of destroying anything. If something is used up, something’s done, something’s over with; what’s the point of getting involved with it?

It seems pretty clear that the art of painting stands indicted and is in trouble these days. It is accused of phoney illusionism, foolish romanticism, and the dull reworking of exhausted fields. If you believe these accusations, you say that they indicate painting’s very real troubles; inescapable sad facts, not the citation

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