An Analysis of Michael Fried’s Essay Art and Objecthood

Topics: Sculpture, Modernism, Minimalism Pages: 3 (869 words) Published: December 4, 2013
asdsdasdaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa- aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaBeginning with Michael Fried’s arguments in his 1967 essay ‘Art and Objecthood’, consider how the status of the art object (painting, sculpture, installation, etc.) has changed over the last thirty-five years within Art History and fine practice. Fried's essay is a kind of riposte to Judd and Morris, who he decried as literalists, coining the term to describe attitudes in opposition to his abstractionist interpretation of Modernism. For Fried, its theatricality is a symptom of the decadence of literalist works of art, which establishes a staged relationship, in time, between object and beholder. Fried preferences a kind of Modernism which is more authentically abstract: insisting Modern artworks should be abstracted from pretence, from time and from a sense of object. The publication of Fried's essay brought to light to divisions within the Modernist tradition, and seemed to indicate that the heart of these divisions lay in the philosophical conflicts between Idealism and Materialism. So Fried's dislike of the term Minimal Art, has caused him to rename it Literalist Art. He points out that the ambition of Judd and his contemporaries is to escape the constraints of painting: the restrictions imposed by the limitations of the canvas. Composition and the effort to create a pictorial illusion are never, according to Fried, quite convincing enough, quite original enough, to be satisfying. Donald Judd explained the problem: When you start relating parts, in the first place, you're assuming you have a vague whole- the rectangle of the canvas- and definite parts, which is all screwed up, because you should have a definite whole and maybe no parts. Painting is doomed to failure, but perhaps some resolution will...
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