Friday, February 12, 2010


David Grim (taken 8/20/08)

The summer before last I took a trip to Buffalo to check out the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo. The place is a lot more substantial than it sounds. It's really a full-blown art museum as big as any other in a city of its size. Apparently the institution was on the vanguard when it came to displaying OP-Art. This sixties movement was about how technology was changing the way people thought about fine art. But it was also about making accessible work that anyone could appreciate viewing.

I have no problem with the late Twentieth Century push to make populist art. There's no reason why people should feel like they need an MFA to "get it". It's not that I can't groove on the context of any particular piece. Sometimes understanding the dialogue that an artist has with a tradition can add value to the viewing experience.

And that idea (the dialogue) brings up an entirely different issue that I hope to explore further in a future post. I've been having discussions with a friend (an abstract painter) about derivation, and I've started thinking about how that applies to photography. The above image did not appear in the Albright-Knox. It is a reinterpretation, although it is relatively close to the original. What does that mean as far as "ownership"?

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