PRINT November 1980


THE ABSENCE OR PRESENCE OF of the human figure in art has never been a question of happenstance. Abstraction was, and is, a matter of modernist plastic and intellectual principles. At crucial moments in this century the glorification of the human figure, a figure whose historic reality lacked nobility, purity and promise, seemed an act of naiveté; and abstraction was delivered to the 20th-century consciousness as the only possible chance for art to fulfill its most idealistic imperative—to offer universal vision. Still, whether the figure has been there or not it has always held a relative position and this position has offered symbolic meaning.

Artforum has always been and remains dedicated to the idea that the serious and worthwhile developments in art are never simply a question of changing tastes; they represent the visible evolution of theoretical and visual thought. In order to continue

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