Other Primary Influences
Since art is a vehicle for the transmission of ideas through form, the reproduction of the form only reinforces the concept. It is the idea that is being reproduced … - Sol LeWitt
Minimalism and Conceptualism
How does my art fit with these influential 20th century art theories?
The very least that can said of these movements is that they finally disposed of the necessity of ‘meaning’ in Art. Henceforth, a work of art was able to stand on its own, representing itself and nothing else. In effect, these developments were responsible for a fundamental clearing of the decks in Art and marked an important phase-change in the ways that it could be created and understood - in the process it oversaw the transition from the Modern to Post-Modern ways of seeing and of making Art. Sol LeWitt, who played a leading role in both Minimalism and Conceptualism, later declared that
I didn't want to save art - I respected the older artists too much to think art needed saving. But I knew it was finished, even though, at that time, I didn't know what I would do
I am sympathetic to the general drift of post-Modern sentiments. However, I feel that the perceptual revolution that came out of these ideas, in common with many revolutions, tended to place more emphasis on demolition rather than composition (to the bemused alienation of an uncomprehending general public). But advances of this kind take time to be fully absorbed, and despite its challenges Conceptualism became a liberating idea that gave Art its post-Modern impetus. Interestingly, LeWitt’s own work, particularly his ‘Structures’ (a term that he preferred to Sculptures) are simple and strongly geometrical; moreover, he felt that Conceptualism encouraged Art to move out of the galleries and into the public domain – both are outlooks with which I have a distinct affinity.
So, in my view, ‘Geometricism’ can claim descent from both Minimalist and Conceptionalist notions, but it also has roots in older, more established forms …
As indicated earlier, the work shown here draws on various sources, but from three in particular - namely, the geometries of regular and semi-regular polyhedra, the structural forms found in crystals and crystallography, and the geometrical monuments of the Ancient World.