PRINT October 2006


Gabriele Guercio and Joachim Pissarro

IN THE ENCOUNTER with an artwork one cannot escape the sense, as Gabriele Guercio writes, “that someone is there.” Orthodox art history and art criticism have no language for such an experience, focused as they are on the what, the how, and the why rather than the who. In his history of the monograph, Art as Existence, Guercio contends that art history has discredited the study of an artist’s life and works because it cannot “afford to deal with the instability produced by considerations of someoneness and singularity.” In the twentieth century the monographic discourse, “drained of its powerful imaginary and utopian elements,” lost its “fluency.” According to Joachim Pissarro, the singular artist emerges only out of dialogic interaction with other artists. And yet the prevailing accounts of modern art rule out the possibility that art might be a form of communication between persons,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. Please sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW at the discounted holiday rate of $45 a year—70% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.