The present essay aims to remap the modernist writing of Clement Greenberg and hissuccessor Michael Fried from the late 1930s to the 1960s. For many years these twocritics/theorists were considered leaders of the American modernist camp that promotedthe purity of the medium and the total dependence of reading art on the primacy ofperception. Attentive reading of the canonical texts they authored will surprisingly revealthat between the theoretical lines of their writings dwells an essential element thatcontradicts the absolute dominance of eyesight. Lying at the heart of the Greenbergianact is a metaphysical foundation that poses the question of the invisible as part of theinquiry into the "essence of the visible". As such the modernist debate will be revealednot only as a means for assembling a canon of works, but also as a means to formulatingan experience of revelation in terms of the visual. Attentive reading of the writings ofClement Greenberg and the early Michael Fried, reveals a theoretical element orregulative idea that will be termed here "the unrepresentable".
|Number of pages
|Published - 2013
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts