PRINT September 1997

This Is Now

IN 1951, at the height of Jackson Pollock’s achievement as a painter, even his most ardent admirers had yet to articulate the radical implications of lowering the canvas from easel to floor. At that same moment, the neophyte artists Robert Rauschenberg and Susan Weil were already extending that breakthrough procedure into new territory. Their horizontal imprints of human bodies on blueprint paper share a seamless, allover procedure with the great poured canvases, yet recover simultaneously the monumental human figure that had been all but banished from New York School painting. Collaboration between the sexes; the deployment of industrial materials; the substitution of bodily index for painted sign: an adequate vocabulary for comprehending the implications of the blueprint pieces lay ten to twenty years in the future. Not only critics, but the entire interested audience for advanced art,

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