Talk by Susan Fielder: 7
||Tass Wolfe's ideas
probably sound a little old-fashioned to you now, but then they had that sharp edge I was
looking for, the kind of clarity of tone that had attracted me to Hans Teichen. This
article argued that the art movement known as minimalism had reached a dead end. If I can
quote from her:
You regard the formalist as someone for whom the heights of abstraction offer refuge
from the confused business of meaning that is carried out on the ground below. In the
spirit of subconscious denial, he attempts to finesse form and content by beckoning your
yearning for the spiritual. When this happens once, it is one of the most sublime and
enriching experiences imaginable in art. But twice, three times, it becomes a cold
business of buying and selling. Art now needs some invigorating tonic that will return us
to the experience of contact. Rather than form without content, you need content without
form. Come down from the heights.
This kind of writing was fairly unusual for the time. At least that seemed the reason
why Tass was sacked from the magazine soon after the publication of the article. I found
out later that there was no particular vendetta against her from angry minimalists, but
simply a lack of evidence on her part of artists who could be said to embody this `content
without form'. In reality, it was an empty category.
remember getting my tongue twisted around that one.