Garry Rich

Max Hutchinson Gallery

Technique in art is not only craft or method but, as Focillon writes, a whole poetry of action permitting the viewer entrance into the heart of problems with which the artist has dealt. Intentions and ideas, as well as the artist’s processes, are aspects of technique both within a single work and in decisions throughout an individual’s life. Since even a narrow set of premises is capable of generating a multitude of forms, technique is able to effect metamorphoses.

Perhaps the best way to discuss technique is as means of execution, for methods transcending extensions of hand can create important ideas. For example, Pollock, Frankenthaler, Louis, and Olitski invented methods of applying paint and used them in so malleable a way that revolutionary approaches to working were instituted, expanding the current vocabulary of drawing, structure, and color until they became conventions in themselves.

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get 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.