ARTFORUM ’62–’79

Yours Faithfully,

IT WAS 16 YEARS AGO, and already there had been too much harping on the “end” of painting, of abstract art, of art as we know it, of the world, etc. Some of us sought to move beyond both trademark American formalist “Modernism” and Minimalist inertness. In the late ’70s, with the stock market bobbing around 600, not many dollars were being bet on art, and we were not quite yet overrun by mercantile investors, not yet stuck in a Hollywood of art stars. Obviously I wish we could have held out longer, but I think we did quite a bit in three short years.

There is formalism and there is formalism. I am no more interested now than I was then in the dumb, only-an-eye ikebana variety that at the time hung over from the ’60s. (My own formal awareness, grounded in Wölfflin, Roger Fry, and classical art history, developed years before hearing of Mr. Greenberg.) By 1977 that discourse was not merely

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