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On Flatness & Plastic Space

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Finding much of the work wanting in the recent exhibition Hoyland, Caro, Noland at Pace Gallery, London, Robin Greenwood considers the comparably positive qualities in 15th and 16th century Flemish paintings.

Greenwood observes that "the hackneyed processes evident in the Pace Gallery work – all of it, from the laying-out horizontally of plates of unmanipulated steel, to the painting of stripes and rectangles in thin stains – need to be strongly interrogated by anyone who wants to move abstract art forward. The beguiling simplicity of this work does not bear scrutiny, and quickly turns on itself, becoming a presentational act of banality." However, Greenwood offers, [the Flemish artists] were focussed, fanatical, and fabulous, eager to move painting forward by investing it with more and yet more particular and specific content – stronger colour, more detail, more variety, more real space, more expressive humanity, more emotional display; more everything!"

There are a many, varied comments to peruse following Greenwood's article.

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