Herbert Muschamp on Ellsworth Kelly

| 1 Comment | 1 TrackBack

Herbert Muschamp, my favorite writer on architecture and public spaces, writes in the September 11, 2003 NY Times about receiving this collage from Ellsworth Kelly:


"On October 19, 2001," it began, "I wrote a letter to you (that I never sent) in response to an article in The New York Times which discussed the controversy of what was to be planned for the `Ground Zero' space, asking artists and others for their opinions." Mr. Kelly noted that two other artists, Joel Shapiro and John Baldessari, had urged that no building be erected at the site and that the architect Tadao Ando had made a similar proposition.

"At that time, my idea for the World Trade Center site was a large green mound of grass," he continued.

More recently he saw an aerial photograph of the site on the cover of the Aug. 31 Arts & Leisure section of The Times. "I was excited to see the site from this vantage point," he wrote. "I was inspired to make a collage of my idea for the space of which I am sending you."

"I feel strongly," he continued, "that what is needed is a 'visual experience,' not additional buildings, a museum, a list of names or proposals for a freedom monument." These, he said, are "distractions from a spiritual vision for the site: a vision for the future."

Now Muschamp writes:

Some think that minimal art is our country's most important contribution to culture. I'm not sure that this is true, or that it's even an American invention. Mies van der Rohe had developed it in architecture before setting foot on our soil. Yet it is true that minimalism has held a particular appeal to Americans. It enables us to withdraw from the midst of complexity without denying the manifold reality of contemporary life.

1 TrackBack

Kelly and money. The results are in, ladies and gentlemen. Forget two years two years of agony and hopes for resolution, two years of arguments and competitions, two years of talk and spin, we now have an answer. The World... Read More

1 Comment

Absolutely, a large greenspace would have been the most poignant and elegant solution. As if! (Land values must be utilized! Investments recouped!)
Muschamp is getting all mushy about minimalism here but let's not forget he's a prime exponent of delirious maximalism, as embodied in Rem Koolhaas and the execrable Frank Gehry. The Kelly tribute is more than a little disingenuous considering Muschamp's role in promoting "more is more."

Monthly Archives

Powered by Movable Type 5.2.13

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by published on September 12, 2003 1:01 AM.

The root of man's cultural advance was the previous entry in this blog.

$87 billion is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.