boston

Anish Kapoor

Institute of Contemporary Art

WHO KNEW THAT MINIMALISM would have such generative power for those once seen as beyond its borders? It is as if all the women and “others” once presumed not to get it, got it—and got more of it than the founding fathers (Stella, Flavin, Judd) ever dreamed. This “it” was the abject body, as the art historian Michael Fried made explicit a decade ago when rereading his own previous take on Minimal art (or “literalism,” as he termed it):

[L]iteralism theatricalized the body, put it endlessly on stage, made it uncanny or opaque to itself, hollowed it out, deadened its expressiveness, denied its finitude and in a sense its humanness. . . . There is, I might have said, something vaguely monstrous about the body in literalism.

In fact, Fried’s 1998 gloss plausibly accounts for the work Anish Kapoor was making that same year. Titles such as Her Blood or Wounds and Absent Objects seemed to leach into

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