Thursday, January 28, 2010


From Jorn's Modifications series, in which he detourned bad paintings he found in basements or flea markets with swirls and spatters and daubings of thick paint. The spectre hovering above the man's head is rather like those childish figures in paintings like Untitled, or in the Art Brut paintings of his CoBrA colleagues Constant and Appel. But as Claire Gilman points out in an essay about Jorn, whereas they took old paintings and completely covered them with paint, erasing the original image in the process, Jorn's swirls are more like notes in the margin of a book - commenting on the original, trying to deface it or add to it or improve on it, but ultimately "testifying to the impenetrability of the mute canvas and the failure of immanent deconstructive strategies."


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