PRINT February 1986


BLINKY PALERMO (1943–1977) GAVE US some of the most beautiful, authentically spiritual objects to be made in the ’70s, a time when the art scene was going through the throes of becoming “open” In the midst of all the pluralistic noise, Palermo held fast to "basic art’: a term applicable to the best abstract art. What makes Palermo’s art especially basic is that it adheres to the spiritual goals of the pioneer abstractionists, who advocated revolt against the world’s materialistic philosophy as well as against art’s own version of narcissistic materialism, art for art’s sake. Palermo reduced his own art material to a minimum —thin color on aluminum or paper, surrounded by space not simply vast but infinitized by the work’s palpitating stillness and intimate scale. His work is an invitation to inward adventure, implying a general spiritual and medicinal purpose for art. In one piece, using

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