San Francisco

Henry Elinson

Gallery Paule Anglim

In 1911 Vasilii Kandinsky wrote in his essay “On the Spiritual in Art”: “At the moment we are tied too closely to external nature. . . . The spectator is too accustomed to searching for the ‘meaning’, i.e., for the outer interdependence of the pictorial parts.” Surrounded by the works of Kandinsky and Malevich, Mondrian and Pollock, we tend to disregard the many problems that accompany any artist on his journey into the “white, free depths” (to quote Malevich). To create in a nonfigurative manner requires a totally new set of criteria, and the artist is forced to rely on concepts such as texture, weight, and rhythm—concepts that may be easy to define, but are very difficult to apply. In spite of the achievements of postwar American abstract art, the nonfigurative movement seems to have reached an impasse; the reason for this lies surely not in a disenchantment with its potential, but rather

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