Page 29 - Studio International - July/August 1967
P. 29

attempt, through their assault on the optic nerve of the
                                   spectator, to render all visual apprehension of coherent,
                                   enclosed forms impossible. Some, like Soto after 1951,
                                   use serial principles, lines of dots distributed according to
                                   a pre-determined mathematical pattern, which destroy
                                   all notions of plastic composition. Others, like Morellet
                                   in 1958, use odd and even numbers from a telephone
                                   directory in order to distribute at random their basic
                                   units—small squares or triangles—once again destroying
                                   pre-determined composition. Still others, like the GRAV,
                                   study the possibilities of peripheral vision and produce
                                   works in which the object of the spectator's contempla-
                                   tion lies outside the field of focal vision, on the edge of a
                                   composition too large to be perceived clearly in its
                                    However, none of these new departures questioned the
                                   respective situation of the work of art and the spectator.

           Above                   But with the profound works of Soto and Vasarely in  which are composed in space but which have a texture
           Fontana in his studio   1954, with the animated screens of Wilfred and his suc-  (slivers of metal eroded by changing effects of light and
           Above right             cessors, with the 'metamalevitchs' of Tinguely and the  shade or transparent Plexiglass structures) such that
           Yves Klein              changing surfaces of Agam and Bury, with the 'physi-  there is no precise point on which the spectator can fix
           Monochrome1958          chromies' of Cruz-Diez in which an infinite variety of  his gaze, no way in which he can reconstitute the re-
           29⅛ x 13⅜  in.
                                   coloured effects are decomposed and recomposed, or  assuring limits of a clearly defined volume. The very
           Galerie lolas, Paris
                                   again with the 'vibratory surfaces' of Alviani etc., the  notion of mass, the position and stability of volumes in
                                   spectator does become directly involved. He is either  space, are questioned. Soto's  Vibrations,  which through
                                   asked to move across in front of the work in order to  the years have become more and more ethereal, imma-
                                   obtain an impression of the destruction of forms, or else  terial, are certainly one of the most successful artistic
                                   a continual process of transformation takes place in front  attempts at total destruction of form.
                                   of him, eliminating all finite quality in the surfaces;   Intervention of time, intervention by the spectator:
                                   time conditions the interpretation of the work. An event  since 1953 a growing number of original works have
                                   is played out in time and the spectator is himself involved  called upon these two new possibilities. Some, the heirs
                                   in time. Some artists like Soto and Sobrino have also  of Gabo's work in the 1920s, try to create changing vol-
                                   created structures which speculate on the ambiguity  umes through the acceleration of rotary movement.
                                   between two- and three-dimensional compositions : works   Others, like Bury, make use of disturbingly slow move-
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