Pearls from artists* # 551March 22, 2023
*an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
A creative process is a philosophical search, shaped by matters of practice and procedure that extend from the first touch of the artist’s pencil, brush, or chisel to the final decisions about what constitutes completeness.
Stylistic particularism – the decision as to what kind of abstract or representational artist you’re going to be – shapes, deepens, and extends the artist’s imaginative powers. Most artists who work for many years see their style evolve, sometimes dramatically. In the 1930s and 1940s Giacometti, who had first been admired for Surrealist sculptures in which representational elements are set in essentially abstract structures, found himself increasingly focused on the direct observation of the human figure. What by the mid-1940s could look like a wholesale transformation of his artistic language was the result of individual decisions all of which, during Giacometti’s career of nearly five decades, interlocked. They reinforced one another. They added up.
Between Abstraction and Representation by Jed Perl in The New York Review of Books, November 24, 2022
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