40 Year Rule

“And so in a Darwinian system, and certainly the art world is a Darwinian system, one can not replicate standard practice, one can not replicate standard canon. In other words if it [the artwork] does it disappears. So everything has to deviate.Everything that you make has to deviate from standard canon or standard practice. And the easiest way to do this I would recommend and Rauschenberg would recommend, is to change the canon. Go back about 40 years and find somebody that you really like and steal shit from them. Because they’re history now and you can steal shit from them. This is a process that I have followed and certainly Rauschenberg followed and its called going back to the moment right before it started sucking.” Dave Hickey The God Ennui 2009.

DeKooning & Brown @ Pivot Art Gallery 2015

“I was in art school at the Slade around 1989, and I distinctly remember looking at a catalogue of de Kooning’s work with some friends. Our game was to cover up the whole painting and look at just a detail, and marvel over the fact that even a detail would be an extraordinary painting. I don’t want to do the work a disservice in saying that every detail could be a painting, because they are incredibly well thought out. It was just realizing that every square inch of the canvas had a life, an energy and a strength. It was exhilarating to see somebody use paint in a way that appeared to be free, but obviously there was this great measure of control. Looking at him so closely, I feel like a student again in that I realize what I’ve been after is to combine a similar level of freedom with the incredible control that results in such tight, amazing paintings.” Cecily Brown on DeKooning 2012.

“When the new season of “Mad Men” began, just a few weeks ago, it carried with it an argument about whether the spell it casts is largely a product of its beautifully detailed early-sixties setting or whether, as Matthew Weiner, its creator, insisted, it’s not backward-looking at all but a product of character, story line, and theme. So it seems time to pronounce a rule about American popular culture: the Golden Forty-Year Rule. The prime site of nostalgia is always whatever happened, or is thought to have happened, in the decade between forty and fifty years past. (And the particular force of nostalgia, one should bear in mind, is not simply that it is a good setting for a story but that it is a good setting for you.)” Adam Gopnik, Forty Year Itch.

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