new-york

Graham Campbell

CDS Gallery

There are two schools of thought about the relationship between abstraction—the visual in its supposedly purest form—and the literary. From one point of view, abstraction is the highest stage of visual evolution, and the literary is an outgrown appendage to it, like the vestige of a tail at the base of the human spine. According to the other, abstraction is a kind of visual poetry, a term not used metaphorically but rather to indicate that, while its “message” is often obscure and untranslatable into ordinary language, abstraction is in fact a language, obscure because of its cabalistic nature.

In Graham Campbell's art, the abstract is simultaneously substance and symbol of ultimate reality. Campbell argues, as it were, that visual abstraction gives us a literal sense of ultimate reality in a way that literature can never do, however hard it tries to be abstract or pure, for it is invariably

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