PRINT October 1995

Finish Line

WILLEM DE KOONING: I consider all painting free. As far as I’m concerned geometric shapes are not necessarily clear.

AD REINHARDT: An emphasis on geometry is an emphasis on the “known,” on order and knowledge.

HERBERT FERBER: Why is geometry more clear than the use of swirling shapes?

REINHARDT: Let’s straighten out our terminology. . . . Vagueness is a “romantic” value, and clarity and “geometricity” are “classic” values.

DE KOONING: I meant geometry in art. . . .

MODERATOR [RICHARD LIPPOLD]: This means that a rectangle is unclear?

DE KOONING: Yes. . . . If a man is influenced on the basis that Mondrian is clear, I would like to ask Mondrian if he was so clear. Obviously, he wasn’t clear, because he kept on painting.

From the “Artists’ Sessions at Studio 35,” a symposium held on 22 April 1950, published in Modern Artists in America no. 1, 1951

PIET MONDRIAN WANTED TO take Cubism to its logical

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