22 February 2012

Editing out

Thinking about artists who have destroyed their work...

Agnes Martin - once she found what worked for her, there was no need to keep the old stuff

Frances Bacon - hardly anything exists that he did before this work in 1944, "Studies for three figures at the base of a crucifixion" - he believed the early work failed to communicate the way he felt about the world -

Susan Hiller's ashes of burnt paintings (1973) -

Yukinori Yanage started as an oil painter but now works with ants, using them as a symbol of work, order and collective activity; sometimes he traces the wanderings of an ant in a confined space over a long period -

There must be many others destroying their work .... using knives or bonfires or overpainting or simply (frugally) remaking.

These reflections rise from reading on Judy Martin's blog: "The artists who have managed to get textiles into the main stream of fine art have been established as fine artists first. Even an artist such as Magdalena Abakanowicz now mutes her textile past."

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