University of Tasmania
2 files

More minimal conditions for painting

posted on 2023-05-27, 00:36 authored by Neil HaddonNeil Haddon
The grid, pristine industrial materials, systems, the monochrome - these are some of the more recognisable characteristics of Minimal art. These characteristics are used, or more correctly misused, in this project in such a way as to question the values commonly attributed to them; to insert evidence of use and the seed of doubt. The realities of the everyday ‚ÄövÑvÆ the wear and tear of use ‚ÄövÑvÆ are contradictory to the supposedly pure values of Minimalism. The project proposes that when methodologies derived from these realities are applied to and extended within abstract geometric minimal painting it can be re-aligned with that everyday experience rather than being seen as aloof from it. To achieve this a new model for abstract painting is proposed; one that recoils from simply pursuing 'more of the same'. This new model might then be seen to articulate the uncertainties that the perceived model of Minimalism excludes. This articulation relies on the new model being conversant with 'human fallibility' and the blemishes of the real world. These issues were investigated in a studio based practice which produced a large body of paintings. The project shows that a clash of values; on the one hand the supposedly idealised and untainted, on the other the scuffed corners and uncertainties of the real world, positioned in the one body of work, yields a very different kind of abstraction from that handed down from the mid 60's. It is a kind of abstraction which acknowledges and accepts its place within a world of other things; that is not divorced from that world. It finds affinity with an imperfect world of blemishes and mistakes whilst maintaining that within all of this there is still room for the blank space of abstraction. Ultimately the conclusion of this project, if it is to challenge the view of Minimalism as sealed within its own pristine constructions, must remain open. Its proposal is to open up a model of geometric abstraction which has come to be seen, rightly or wrongly, as closed and impervious. The project necessarily raises doubts but it does so by proposing that such is life, and that there is room for a kind of geometric abstract painting that finds itself at home here.


Publication status

  • Unpublished

Rights statement

Copyright 2002 the author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s).

Repository Status

  • Open

Usage metrics

    Thesis collection


    No categories selected


    Ref. manager