new-york

Paul Wiesenfeld

Robert Schoelkopf Gallery

The problem with representational art is not its unreality, nor its exploitation of what Greenberg calls “sculptural illusion.” One kind of illusion is as real as another, and illusion is as real as any other allegedly real entity. A still-life painting is not less real than Carl Andre’s fire bricks. Illusion is a possibility, and in a certain sense, a necessity. Illusion is a necessity in the sense of the peculiar meaning that must attach to a notion of eliminating illusion: What would be eliminated, and what sort of thing would remain? As illusion exists as the product of the mental construction put on perception, it is not something that can be gotten rid of, it can only be made irrelevant. The problem with representational art is the same as the problem with art described as nonrepresentational or abstract: Both have reached exhaustion as they are currently formulated. The problem is

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