curated by Mihai Nazarie
When I read titles as bombastic and I dare say stupid as “Why Painting Now?” my hope in the glorious future of art history decreases. But when I see Lucian Freud’s show at Kunsthistorische Museum in Vienna displayed between old masters and fighting them bravely the same hope enters fairer weather.
I was between these two states of mind when asked to give my contribution to the book on Horia Mina’s work titled “Brancusi and I, or a propos de rien”.
Battaille wrote extensively about the unstable relation between matter and mind, experience and image. What about “colored matter” and experience put into relation? It is indeed colored matter voices that lead Mina’s conceptual intelligence. Maneouvering his fear of random approach by singular essentialism, and acting by Cistercian method his first chapter called “Aseptica” points to o possible new vocabulary, by striving to articulate colour with letter (when a new alphabet is formulated), word,state of mind,impression.
When in the good old Bauhaus years Johannes Itten was expressing in his “The elements of color: a treatise on the color system” and “The art of color: the subjective experience and objective rationale of color” the belief that “color is life, for a world without color appears to us as dead. Colors are primordial ideas, the children of light”, he didn’t know his studies will find (besides the educational) a practical and pragmatic use in the cosmetics industry. Nor did Joseph Albers, his former student, know when he published his “Interaction of Color” presenting this theory that colors are governed by an internal and deceptive logic, or painted his “Homage to the Square” series exploring the chromatic interactions that his “Homage to the Square: Joy” painted in 1964 will be sold in 2007 at Sotheby’s New York for 1,5 million dollars.
There is no sly and cunning step of “the emperor is naked” kind in the curious and awake spirits deeds. Just two illustrious artists and “scientists” who took the colour subject very seriously.
Photocredits by Marcus Zobl 2014