Image: Cover of Barbara Dawson (ed.), Giovanni Maria Accame, David Carrier, Sue Hubbard, Gavin Morrison, Jasper Sharp, Lilly Wei Unique Act (London: Lund Humphries in association with Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane, 2008).
Unique Act: “Six seasoned writers and authorities on contemporary art come together in this book to explore and celebrate the work of five modern artists. Unique Act accompanies an exhibition at Dublin City Gallery the Hugh Lane and also makes a major contribution to the place of abstract painting in the art-historical annals.”
The modalities of meaning ascribed to certain reductive painting practices forms an extensive liturgy: the monochrome as conduit to the ethereal, as terminus of painting, as cultural backlash, etc. Through the protestations of their creators and the critical attributions made of them by others, the work successively shrugs off and acquires a dizzying array of denotations. Moreover, in that these type of practices have proliferated so extensively since Modernism, it would be imagined that a form of cumulative exhaustion would have rendered present day iterations mute. And yet this multivalence has become, not merely tolerated, but rather utilized and manipulated by certain contemporary artists whereby the historic and critical legacy becomes a shadowlike co-conspirator.