A bright line, painting beyond the surface
“Pollock’s line bounds and delimits nothing,” said Michael Fried, summarizing one of the greatest achievements of American art, which had completed a long journey beginning with the avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century: to free the line from its (reiterated) “task of describing and bounding shapes and figures – whether abstract or representative – on the surfaces of the canvas.”
With the abolition of any denotative function, new possibilities opened up for the neo-avant-garde movements to reconceptualize the line, above all as a spatiotemporal continuum obeying its own logic – irrespective of any dependency on the gesturality of the artist.
But can this need for autonomy really be achieved if on a procedural level the line remains dependent on its natural flatbed, in other words, the surface on which it can, even in ideal terms, be traced?
Let’s try to invert the terms of the question: painting that rejects the surface.
The Artefact is a preliminary solution to this type of problem.