PRINT September 1983


THE PERIOD OF THE LATE ’60s and early ’70s was the wordiest moment in contemporary art. Articulation and explanation became intermingled and broadcast with the art, as the art, as never before—though in a fashion prescient of the current situation. For those coming of age then, it was all so much program music—we read the notes at the expense of hearing the melodies. All of the aphorisms of the day, beginning with “what you see is what you get,”became familiar, but very few of its artifacts. The verbal thrusting and parrying was the analyzed action, and people like myself (and I think we were many) mistook the rationales for the realities, preferring a thrashing-out of ideas about ideas to looking at the art. The latter kind of confrontation is still confusing. But we can now begin to see something other than what we thought we knew, then and now.

A good part of the current

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