Dialogues: Curated by Jan Krugier

expressed by form or color; in other works an image conveys the feeling. Asse’s twin vertical boxes in their post-911 context, point to the fallen towers, accidental iconicity perhaps, for no other pattern in the work itself calls forth this interpretation. Iteration self-stabilizes interpretation, and thus one must read this pattern with caution. The speck (Man) on the surface of Ernst’s sea is so much smaller than the tumultuous currents churning below. And while the air may be calm above the overall scene is ominous. The expression of Goya’s Loco signifies what he sees. Dubuffet’s man is like, in and of the Earth. In Beckmann, as person becomes icon, particularity remains only as the stretched umbilicus to humanity. The degree of success or failure of representation comes from the work’s own ability to teach the viewer its system by sharing the experience of its creation. These do so without supplementary text. They speak visually and work viscerally.

The confident and quick gestural stroke appears throughout many works in this exhibition and represents the way the human rather than the camera eye sees, focusing on one or few elements, leaving the rest to fade to unimportance. Finished and at the same time loose, the impressionistic daub is an optical illusion and an allusion to human optics. Hugo’s works have melodic lines that immediately affect the body with a sense of harmonic proportion and balance. If a line  jars, it does so meaningfully, as a sharp note asks its question and implies its own resolution.  The works by Hugo are especially felt, experienced by the body, and this is so because the body is capable of elaborate abstractions and responds to sophistication with its own sophisticated theories about the world.

Some pieces speak with a wider range of vocabulary than others. Some can be learned easily; others cannot.  The artist grows more easily in new directions the more semiotic freedom he has. Creativity is born of a progressive complexification of existing forms through processes involving constant partial disintegration and reintegration. Bringing so many languages together in two rooms, Krugier and Dactyl offer young painters the richness of history and the opportunity to emerge, hopeful, radical, and beautiful.

II. Theory

Emergence is a concept used in the sciences to appreciate how organisms act with intention (Alexander 2009), how new biological forms appear (Reid 2007), and how the laws of physics come from the chaos of the quantum world (Laughlin 2005). For us, in the arts, it performs the role of showing how visual languages form, have meaning, and change.  Art as an emergent begins with an already existing self-organized system (i.e. convention), or self-organizes its own. A language system

  • is a set of constraints that reduce the probabilities of the ways its parts can interact without directly determining them.
  • is nested within a larger system such that it has the opportunity to interact with something other than itself. Otherness that is self-contained leads to a dynamically stable whole, which can teach the viewer its language.
  • has a part of itself that forms an accidental relation with something through contiguity or similarity (metonym or metaphor).  If including this accidental relation within itself changes the meaning of itself (changes the way it functions), self-creation and self-organization has occurred.

To further elucidate the above, firstly creativity begins within a language; it can be a living one, a dead one, a complex or simple one, private or public.  But creativity must begin within a systematic set of relations that function to maintain those relations. If a private one is used, then it is incumbent upon the artist to teach his viewers his language with the art itself, independent of supplementary texts and theories. If a public one is used, the artist must use it in her own distinct way. If one prefers to avoid language, one then is left assembling aggregates of objects randomly and any artistry found in such work is that of the viewer.

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