Metonymy In Contemporary Art: A New Paradigm

Metonymy In Contemporary Art: A New Paradigm

Denise Green

Language: English

Pages: 136

ISBN: 0816648786

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

In Metonymy in Contemporary Art, Denise Green develops an original approach to art criticism and modes of creativity inspired by aspects of Australian Aboriginal and Indian thought. Interweaving her own evolution as an artist with critiques of Clement Greenberg and Walter Benjamin as well as commentary on artists such as Joseph Beuys, Mark Rothko, Frank Stella, and others, Green explores the concept of metonymic thinking as developed by the poet and linguist A. K. Ramanujan and its relevance to contemporary painting and aesthetics. In Ramanujan's formulation of metonymic thinking, the human and natural worlds are intrinsically related to one another as are the transcendent and mundane. When applied to contemporary art, metonymic thinking implies that one must understand that the creativity of the artist flows from a fusion of an inner state of mind and the outer material world. Pointing out how this alternative aesthetic and cognitive mode is left wanting in art criticism, Green argues for a critical discourse and interpretive mode in contemporary art that is at once global and pluralist in perspective. Denise Green is an Australian American artist and writer in New York City. Since 1972 her work has been the subject of over eighty-five solo exhibitions. She has collaborated as an editor for Semiotext(e) and is a member of the Graduate Faculty at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. Her writings have appeared in Arts Magazine, Art Press, Art Monthly Australia, and Art and Australia. Retrospectives of her work have appeared in major museums from the P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center/Museum of Modern Art in New York to the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, the Ludwig Museum in Budapest, and the Saarland Museum in Saarbr├╝cken, Germany. Examples of her work can be found at

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image and the development of what I later termed the metonymic process. The use of images, both personal and Metonymy in Contemporary Art 58 abstract, was derived from conversations with Joel and the experience of his work. Looking back, I realize he was working metonymically because his pieces were a reflection of his inner world. But even more importantly, my interaction with him gave me permission to include the T in my work. Artistic identity is not fixed. It can be deeply affected by the

was followed by the recognition that I would have to write about my work myself if it were to be interpreted from this perspective. This led me to develop my ideas for this book. I began by challenging influential critics and critical attitudes in the art world that have a tendency to inhibit the understanding of painting today. For ten years my goal had been to write about Walter Benjamin's essay, The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, but I was only able to achieve this after

creative processes be related to a monistic framework into which metonymic thinking is intrinsically connected. As I have discussed in earlier chapters, monism is an Eastern philosophical tradition that is fundamentally different from Western dualism. It emphasizes the An Alternative Paradigm: Developing an Aesthetic for the 1990s 97 Denise Green, Is That a Gun, 1992. Oil on canvas, 122 x 122 cm. Collection: Anthony Pratt. continuum between self and other and mind and body, in contrast to

Visionblocked). Masonite and wood. Courtesy of the Artist. combine this with a floor plan of something else, and would get those big linear forms. DG: Would the abbreviation have a specific meaning for you? BL: They did originally have very specific meanings. I referred earlier to how there are private languages, like in the medical profession, and if you do something Metonymy in Contemporary Art 122 like this [Le Va writes the letters CPE], the abbreviation has nothing to do with me, it

maps.13 The work of Ah Xian is an example of the Chinese diaspora to Australia. Ah Xian moved to Sydney twelve years ago, but the complexity of his background is part of his language as an artist. In the new context of Sydney he absorbed influences from the Western tradition of bust portraiture, which is largely absent from Chinese art. His vividly decorated busts combine these new elements with traditional Chinese porcelain ware designs.14 These are not only formal elements, or superficially

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