PRINT November 2002




To the Editor:

Exhibitions are a form of representation, an interpretive “likeness” of a body of work. No more than any other representation of a complex reality can such a compound image claim to be the unmediated record of the artist’s intention or achievement, much less a definitive one. Certainly not in the case of the retrospective of someone whose production is large, various, and shot through with internal conflicts and contradictions. Essential to any such attempt, then, is the principle of metonymy, whereby a part stands in for the whole. Deciding how much of one dimension of the aggregate to include is the basis of the composition. Such decisions are not a matter of foregone intellectual conclusions or the by-product of any art-historical consensus. Neither are they an affair of mathematical proportion, according to which x percent of work of a particular variety is

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