... over at Golden Rule Jones: If the exhibition were a novel. (Here is a link to the whole Guardian article: Lost in Translation.)
What caught my attention here was the mention of Josef Albers. Back in the '70s, when I worked in DC, I used to visit the National Gallery a lot. (I actually worked for a few years as a gallery director, but it was during my time in Washington that I really got to know art - just by looking at a lot of it.) At any rate, on a couple of occasions I happened to see Lewis Mumford there. I thought of introducing myself (I was even more of a nobody then than I am now, of course), but decided not to bother him - unless I saw him a third time, which never happened. But on one occasion I did overhear him discussing some of the paintings - one of which was by Albers. Mumford found it cold, lifelessly abstract. Which should not be taken to mean that he was put off because it was non-representational. I know that because nearby was a painting by Mark Tobey, an example of Tobey's "white writing," every bit as non-representational as the Albers. But Mumford told his companion - an attractive woman, much younger than he - "Tobey is a real artist" and went on to comment on the spiritual implications of the work they were looking at. I remember this especially because Mumford had in fact articulated what I had felt looking at the same paintings. So there was that bit of self-congratulation that comes from learning that a great man thinks the same way you do yourself. But I also think we were both right. People often think my tastes in art are reactionary because I frequently criticize non-representational art. But I love such art - when it's good. But it is in fact very hard to do really well, and very easy to do poorly. Like free verse.
I conclude with a quiz: Since we have linked to Golden Rule Jones, does anyone out there remember Brand Whitlock?