Posts Tagged ‘Black Paintings’

Intersections, by Alfonso Alberti

The consequences of a totally-white painting

The Fifties in New York were an extraordinary time, due to the intertwining (human and artistic) life courses of great musicians and great visual artists.
Once, in those years, Morton Feldman, the composer, visited Bob Rauschenberg’s studio and came out of it with one of his Black Paintings, paid sixteen dollars and some change – all that he had in his pockets. The painting was hauled on John Cage’s Ford, the same car that, in another occasion, Cage would use for “inking” a painting, also by Rauschenberg, passing over it with blue ink-soaked tires.
The Black Paintings were all black; but Rauschenberg created also paintings that were completely white. Not partly, or almost completely, white. No, white – that’s all. One of the early reviewers of the 1953 exhibition, in which Eleanor Ward showed the White Paintings, was really Cage, who declared, fancy that, that the white paintings were not exactly white. Instead, they were “airports of the lights, shadows and particles”…
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