Friday, August 01, 2008

you are changing. the paintings are not

I have always been drawn to Reinhardt's paintings. This article in todays Times was interesting... exciting for art conservators.

Yet at the Guggenheim, at least, the story has a sublime ending. Just off the main exhibition Ms. Stringari has installed a group of “Black Paintings” in apparently pristine condition in a plain room with a big bench, and with the low lighting Reinhardt stipulated. They don’t feel either particularly heavy or light, joyous or somber, perfect or imperfect.

You let your eyes rest on them, and what you see changes, constantly: blacks change shades; reds and blues appear and fade. One minute you think you are looking at a grid or a cruciform; the next at a cloudy sky or a Monet landscape, dark like the negative of a photograph. Your vision is changing things; you are changing. The paintings are not. But they are, perhaps, leaving their trace on your psyche and memory. The mark may be permanent, whatever permanent means.

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