Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

Panorama view of exhibition in Jedlitschka Gallery, Zurich.

24 November 2013

Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

Lawrence Weiner and many Conceptualist Artists used to claim that they had overcome metaphor. See our short rebuttal. Embodied metaphor theory put to work critiquing Lawrence Weiner yields new insights. Rock your art historical world at Metaphor and Art from Mark Staff Brandl and Mark G. Taber:
http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html



The text here as well:




Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl


Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor. 


Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine: 


The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.

Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
 

It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies



However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner. 



Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2


Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.


Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.


First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.


Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!” 


I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses! 


However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent. 


Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber

Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:

BEFORE AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3

This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time. 

Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration. 

Now consider “BEFORE AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.

The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.

From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?

But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.


Notes:

1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time








Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl
Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine:
The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.
Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies.
However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner.
Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2
Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.
Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.
First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.
Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!”
I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses!
However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.

Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber
Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:
BEFORE & AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3
This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time.
Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration.
Now consider “BEFORE & AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.
The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.
From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?
But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.
Notes:
  1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
  2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
  3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
  4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
- See more at: http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html#sthash.rGnxln02.dpuf







Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl
Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine:
The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.
Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies.
However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner.
Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2
Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.
Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.
First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.
Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!”
I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses!
However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.

Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber
Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:
BEFORE & AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3
This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time.
Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration.
Now consider “BEFORE & AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.
The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.
From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?
But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.
Notes:
  1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
  2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
  3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
  4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
- See more at: http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html#sthash.rGnxln02.dpuf







Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl
Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine:
The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.
Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies.
However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner.
Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2
Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.
Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.
First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.
Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!”
I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses!
However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.

Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber
Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:
BEFORE & AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3
This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time.
Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration.
Now consider “BEFORE & AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.
The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.
From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?
But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.
Notes:
  1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
  2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
  3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
  4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
- See more at: http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html#sthash.rGnxln02.dpuf







Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl
Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine:
The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.
Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies.
However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner.
Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2
Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.
Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.
First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.
Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!”
I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses!
However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.

Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber
Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:
BEFORE & AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3
This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time.
Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration.
Now consider “BEFORE & AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.
The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.
From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?
But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.
Notes:
  1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
  2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
  3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
  4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
- See more at: http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html#sthash.rGnxln02.dpuf







Lawrence Weiner and Metaphor

by Mark Staff Brandl
Conceptual Artist Lawrence Weiner is quite fond of formulating statements in which he claims to have dismissed metaphor from his artwork. This is a very short article to point out that he is completely wrong. In fact, his use of vinyl lettering, called “text” in the artworld, is an obvious combination of tropes, masking itself as non-tropaic, which is in itself another metaphor.
Art critic Barry Schwabsky writes of the influential New York painter Jonathan Lasker in ArtForum magazine:
The desire for an imminent fundamental change linked to a new understanding of trope is indeed in the air, not only for me; ever more frequently, artists and authors have begun to refer to metaphor and cognitive metaphor theory. For example, Frank Davey, a Canadian poet with an involvement in theory, states the following in an interview with Héliane Ventura in the journal Sources.
Jonathan Lasker once told me he thought the Minimalists had been trying to make an art without metaphor, and in fact had succeeded; but the point having been proved, he continued, there’s no longer any urgent motivation to produce more metaphor-free work. Barry Schwabsky 1
It can now be seen that the Late Modernist attempt to undermine metaphor, whether in Minimalism, as described by Schwabsky and Lasker above, or in Conceptualism, as mentioned above with Wiener, although necessary at that time, did not actually function as expected, but was rather a negational, metaleptic trope in itself. One of Minimalism’s chief metaphors was that of theatre as/for presence, others included industrial furnishing and factory production as anti-decorative, and objecthood as anti-painting — thus anti-(art) history. One might assert that Minimalism was in truth an assemblage of similes. Likewise, Conceptualism can be shown to be based on a tapestry of metaphors and metonymies.
However, at this point let me simply discuss one small example in one Conceptualist’s work, Lawrence Weiner.
Weiner’s early Conceptualist works were both pseudo-pragmatic and the art object themselves. He presented instructions or descriptions such as “A Square Removal from a Rug in Use.” 2
Since then his work has developed into purely abstract language, such as fragmentary lists of prepositions. It has become an often tedious variation on concrete poetry, losing the strength it had earlier as vague potentiality.
Yet this vagueness, presented in vinyl letters on walls appearing for nearly almost 50 years, on the walls of galleries and museums and Kunsthallen around the world, Weiner sees as free of metaphor. There are in reality two chief metaphors in use. The Conceptualist elephants in the gallery, so to speak, as they are easily perceived yet never acknowledged.
First, the use of text itself. Text is a metonymy of intellectuality. Intellectuals, especially scholars, tend to write papers, write books, and the like. They (we) often generate reams of pages of text. It is an important part of their activity (thus indeed a synecdoche of intellectuality). Creating them is an important activity of such people and one of the foremost things others picture when they consider scholars, philosophers and other intellectuals. Therefore it makes an ideal stand-in for them, as it is contextually related to their thoughts. Thus, text is a metonymy of intellectuality and intellectuals.
Second, such vagueness as Weiner uses nowadays in his texts can be seen as poetic (an interpretation he resists), yet even more so as either an inadvertent parody or a travesty of the texts that intellectuals create. Scholarly writing is all too often extremely difficult to read, densely packed, seemingly on the edge of comprehensibility. Purposeful vagueness is thus overly artsy (a metonymy of the avant-garde) or dreadfully opaque (a distorted synecdoche of intellectuality). In short, it simply screams “ain’t I smart!”
I could continue with the metaphors underlying the physical materiality of Weiner’s presentations. Such as — work done by (usually unpaid or underpaid) assistants: metaphors of corporate production; machine-cut letters: metaphors of brain over body (anti-handicraft); vinyl: metaphors of “contemporary materials”; and so on. All of these playing hidden metaphors against suppositions of the metaphors of earlier Modernists, thus also making them metalepses!
However, my purposes have been served. It is clear that no matter what is claimed, Lawrence Weiner’s art, and I assert, most Conceptual Art and Neo-Conceptual Art, whether good or bad, is deeply grounded in interlocking base metaphors; metaphors commonly ignored because they are so transparent.

Interpreting Lawrence Weiner with Embodied Metaphor

by Mark G. Taber
Embodied metaphor theory can be a powerful framework with which to approach Lawrence Weiner’s wall installation work. For example, consider this piece exhibited at the Whitney Museum in 2007:
BEFORE & AFTER A HOLE IN TIME 3
This text was exhibited on a very tall and narrow wall in a vertical orientation. In language time is expressed in many embodied metaphors. In English the future is typically in the space in front of the body, the past is behind. For example, talk about future events as being “on the horizon” or past events as “behind us” unselfconsciously use this metaphorical model of time.
Consider the text: “A HOLE IN TIME.” What can this be if not a metaphor? If time is a first person subjective perception then it can’t have a hole because in that case time is neither an event nor a thing.4 But if we think about it as an embodied metaphor using the model of walking on a line towards the future, and take time as a dimension and mark off our path with regular intervals to measure time, then it becomes plain that walking towards the future on a timeline and encountering a hole blocking the way presents us with a dramatic aberration.
Now consider “BEFORE & AND AFTER.” If continuing with the embodied metaphor of walking along a timeline then “BEFORE” logically becomes the span of time when encountering the “HOLE” is in the future and in front of us as we walk, and “AFTER” is when the “HOLE” is in the past and behind us.
The piece is (or was at the Whitney) large scale and so can be walked towards and around. Walking towards it as though literally on a timeline the text reads from top to bottom like a piledriver ramming into the gallery floor where one might expect to find the hole the text is referring to. In that sense encountering the text in the gallery enhances its power and is more than an arbitrary upsizing of text that belongs in a little book.
From the point of view of embodied metaphor the piece is logical and with this framework in place it becomes possible to ask deeper questions about what this piece brings to mind. Is it possible that a straight line ruler metaphor doesn’t capture all the permutations of the dimensions of time? Maybe we need some new metaphors about time to capture additional complexities? How does one cross over a hole in time? Weiner must think it’s possible, otherwise the text might instead read “STOPPED BY A HOLE IN TIME.” Maybe one doesn’t cross over a hole in time, maybe we need a metaphor for a swerve in time. What is a hole in time anyway?
But enough speculation. The point is that embodied metaphor theory can render this piece logical and intelligable and compelling.
Notes:
  1. Barry Schwabsky, “Jonathan Lasker - Brief Article,” ArtForum (September 2000). Cited from
  2. The exact phrase, thus artwork, is “A SQUARE REMOVAL FROM A RUG IN USE,” also referred to as Statement Nr. 054. Lawrence Wiener, 1969.
  3. Lawrence Weiner As Far As The Eye Can See, Whitney Museum of American Art. 945 Madison Ave, New York, NY. (November 15, 2007 to February 10, 2008). Cited from http://whitney.org/www/weiner/images/lwss8.jpg
  4. “Time.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Cited from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time
- See more at: http://www.metaphorandart.com/articles/weinermetaphor.html#sthash.rGnxln02.dpuf

17 November 2013

Dusk Rituals for Egypt, 1981

Here is a real blast from my past. due to a request from Aviva Rahmani, I have finally scanned in the old article by Th. Emil Homerin and Nora Walter about my "Dusk Rituals for Egypt" from the magazine High Performance, Los Angeles, issue 15, volume 4, number 3, Fall 1981.



Link to pdf. It takes a while to load, and you may need to open it in another viewer (right click and do that in Adobe Reader, e.g.), as it is one long frieze-like band, to keep the interesting layout HP did.

13 November 2013

Leta Peer, Painter

Originally published September 4, 2006


Art in America (September 2006) of Swiss artist Leta Peer's recent exhibition at the Augsburg Museum for Contemporary Art in Augsburg, Germany. I would like to draw attention to that, to her, and to post a slightly expanded and personalized version of the review here.

In my opinion, Leta Peer (pronounced "Lay-ta Pear"), a painter of wonderful, sensuous, images, is one of the best artists in central Europe. This exhibition is her first major solo museum show. In it she displays 8 oil paintings and 5 photos of installations with an additional "interaction" at the nearby Schaetzler Palais. Peer creates luscious, naturalistic paintings of mountains from her home area, the Swiss Engadine, a long mountain valley located in the Romansch -speaking part of the canton of the Grisons. Peer's works reflecting this setting are generally minutely small, 4 by 6 inches. Surprisingly, in this show, the paintings were all circa 47 by 71 inches.

What exactly are Peer's "interactions"? Well, they are installations or the records of temporary installations of paintings. The artist frequently hangs her oil paintings in contrasting sites such as ornate palace rooms, half-destroyed buildings, or, once, New York City's Grand Central Station. She photographs and exhibits oversized prints of these hangings as independent artworks. For this exhibition, Peer inserted paintings in a Rococo palace under renovation. Five of the photos of these insertions among the plastic drop-cloth covered surfaces, plaster chunks and half-pitted walls were printed at 39 x 55 inches, and included in the exhibition.

Peer works in a direction which it is almost entirely impossible to appreciate through reproductions, whether high quality photos or on-line. Composition can be appreciated, and therein the artist is highly creative, but her works are strongly dependent on appreciation of their scale and surface. Her oil paintings are not smoothly photorealistic, featuring instead sumptuous variations of glaze and impasto. Furthermore, they are not Romantic — the pathetic fallacy is never suggested. Most hackneyed representations of mountains attempt to encompass and control the image, conquer the summit, by making it emblematic — a simple, identifiable logo-like outline against a pleasing backdrop. In contrast, in a work such as Landscape No. 21, of 2005, Peer deemphasizes the outline of the mountains by allowing the peaks alone to rise into the painting at its bottom edge. This accentuates its vastness and intimates the vertiginous feeling one has in the Alps. The color is rich, but speaks of neither postcards nor Caspar David Friedrich. Peer's works combine the shimmering, pearlescent colors of Vermeer with the facture of Velásquez.

In the exquisite accompanying catalogue, titled To Inhabit a Place, Peer's work is described by exhibition curator Thomas Elsen as "startlingly" or "disturbingly beautiful." This is true due to the adverbs more than the adjective. The artist's paintings are unmistakably attractive, but unexpectedly so. Describe her scenic subject matter verbally and one anticipates artworks either formulaic or at least highly conservative. However, when directly, visually experienced, the paintings are refreshingly original. For Peer, the genre, mountain paintings, and her recuperation of it clearly operate metaphorically as a salvaging of vision itself. Although now living in urban Basel, Peer is truly seeing anew the area from which she comes, drawing back the veil of past cultural cliché.

Although quite successful, Peer is in no way as appreciated as I personally feel she should be. Perhaps that is due to her subject matter, her emphasis on "classic" technical facility, or simply the position of painting in the artworld today. Peer once said to me that a treasured teacher of hers commented that painters of her generation and younger were now going to have to carry on the theory, understanding and development of the discipline on their own, as so many curators simply no longer had a clue. If that is indeed so, then I propose that Peer is accomplishing an enchanting part of this task.

Consider a few of my friends: David Reed is achieving the painterly absorption of electronic-mediality; Wesley Kimler is realizing the great question of how to transume and extend Portrait and a Dream (rather than avoid it), painterly endeavor as aspiration; I'm grappling with the subsumption of installation and the political vernacular into painting; — and many more are with us. Peer, too, as she supplies an impressive, contemporary incarnation of ability, of mastery.

Image Info: Leta Peer: Landscape #21

Sharforum Funnies 2

Originally published August 3, 2006

Our Sharkforum merchandising novelties?!!

Obit: Jason Rhoades, August 1, 2006

Originally published August 4, 2006





1965-2006. Neo-Conceptual Installation artist Jason Rhoades died of heart failure on Aug. 1 in Los Angeles at the age of only 41. 

Rhoades was born in 1965 in Newcastle, California. He studied from 1985 - 1986 at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California; received his BFA after studying from 1986 - 1988 at the San Francisco Art Institute; continued his studies in 1988 at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and received his MFA after studying from 1991-1993 at the University of California, Los Angeles. The artist was a student and the chief protégé of fellow-artist Paul McCarthy. They collaborated on an installation at the 1999 Venice Biennale. He was represented by several important international "tastemaker" galleries including David Zwirner in NY and Hauser and Wirth in Zurich and London.

After an exhibition at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in 1994, Rhoades quickly became a darling of the international curatorial scene with installations at many major art venues, Kunsthallen, such as that in Basel, and in most international salons, e.g. the various biennales and the like. He is known for his immense installations created from a vast array of garbage, photos, furniture, scaffolding, lights and other materials, including peas and freeze-dried fish roe. The works generally took the form of numerous piles of items vaguely citing Duchamp (frequently the Large Glass) and often symbolically represented masturbation.

For many people, Rhoades was the epitome of the trendy neo-mannerist, academic artist. He used all the curatorially-correct materials, forms, references and attempted-shock techniques (including human excrement, obscene words, sex events and so on). Nevertheless, although he was somewhat similar to and in the league of other Neo-Con artists such as Jeff Koons, there was none of the pushy Yuppie to his personality. As a person, Rhoades could be quite appealing, with more of the air of the cheerful, pudgy ex-high-school-nerd seeking to shock, than of the art-star wannabe as is so common among his style-compatriots. Under all his boilerplate Dada was a fun sense of humor and even self-effacement.

His most famous exhibition in Europe was an immense, museum-filling installation titled My Madinah: In Pursuit of My Hermitage in the Hauser and Wirth-funded Lokremise in St. Gallen. Rhoades packed the space with 1724 colorful neon signs each forming a different euphemism for the female vagina, thousands of old carpets on the floor and various small crystals and cheap wooden camel-shaped souvenirs all covered in tons of splattered hot-glue from a very ejaculatory glue-gun. After the closure of the show, the work was intended to be rebuilt in a new building in the desert near Mecca California. When I last talked to him in June at the Basel Art Fair, Jason told me that he was buying up junk truck trailers and intended to build the housing in Mecca from them. Let's hope that the California permanent installation of the work does come to pass in some fashion, as I believe it is his best work, truly exhilarating and delightful despite the customary "shock" elements.




I saw Jason about twice a year and always enjoyed seeing him and discussing art with him, even with certain reservations I had about aspects of his work. He has a Cover painting of mine made as a lighthearted homage to him and other "Large-Glass" aficionados. I believe he was really just beginning to be himself as an artist, notwithstanding or because of all the immediate fame he had, thus making his early death even more distressing.



He is survived by his wife, the artist Rachel Khedoori, and a child. My thoughts and condolences are with them.

Banner Painting: Chicago Art History Homage for Paul Klein

Originally Published August 23, 2006



I recently completed a painting intended to be used as a banner. It is an homage to Chicago artists. I hope you enjoy it.

The banner bears the words "Chicago Art Project" and is for Paul Klein and his crew's use, as they see fit for discussion meetings, press briefings, whatever. Each of the letters of the phrase, as well as the "underline" bar beneath it, were created in laudatory mimicry of the styles of great Chicago artists. My homage to a history that needs to be re-focused on. Please check out this link to see the work larger. It is purposefully a large jpeg, so you can open the image itself in another window (by right-clicking, etc.) and zoom in to see details.

Link to page.

Yes, I am aware of our Head Shark's "difficult" relationship with Klein, but much of the inspiration for this project came from Wesley, and I myself still find it a praiseworthy undertaking. Furthermore, I believe my object exists in and of itself as a pleasurable call to "know and appreciate your own history," whatever the final outcome of The Chicago Art Project, Sharkforum, or even the artscene of Chicago itself may be. Jose Ortega y Gasset succinctly stated that history is "the technique of friendship and conversation with the dead." According to David C. McCullough, "history is who we are and why we are the way we are." And, finally, Pearl S. Buck wrote, "One faces the future with one's past."

The artists are listed and matched with letters on my web page. They are: Martin Puryear, Archibald Motley, Jr., Ivan Albright, Ed Paschke, Leon Golub, Gladys Nilsson, Manierre Dawson, Don Baum, Seymour Rosofsky, Gertrude Abercrombie, Aaron Bohrod, Miyoko Ito, Joseph Yoakum, Tony Fitzpatrick, H. C. Westermann, Ruth Duckworth, Roger Brown, Jim Nutt,Robert Amft, Harry Callahan, Claire Zeissler, Edith Altman, Phil Berkman, Buzz Spector, Rudolph Weisenborn, Iñigo Manglano-Ovallé, Karl Wirsum, Michael Paha, Eldzier Cortor, James Grigsby, Wesley Kimler, Richard Hunt, William Conger, Chris Ware.

My own personal choice of a history, but then it is my painting.

(Full info here: http://www.markstaffbrandl.com/covers_images/chicago_art_project.html)
------------------------------------------------------------

Comments 
Dear Mark,
I enjoyed scanning your Chicago Art Project banner. It is a much appreciated homage and I'm glad you thought to make me a part of it. When Vistor Cassidy reviewed an installation of mine out at Navy Pier a couple of years ago, he identified me as "sometime Chicago artist Buzz Spector."
It was funny and apt, and I do still think of Chicago as the home I'm away from for the moment. Maybe you do, too.
All best,
Buzz

MSB: I wrote to William Conger and told him about this banner painting, as well as discussing his interview on Bad at Sports --- which is wonderful! Go listen to it. He wrote back:
Hi Mark;
Thanks for your email. And also for comments in response to the podcast. I've just returned this evening from several days relaxation in the country and so I missed all the fun in those podcast comments, especially those centered on Wesley.
Anyway, It's true I'm full of Chicago art history, etc. I could've just kept on going, and in fact the post-recorded interview conversation went on until nearly 6pm, having officially begun at 1pm.
Thanks for that banner inclusion. What a charge I get from that!
All the best,
William Conger

Nice banner Mark-- what a treat!