Friday, January 12, 2024

the last book I ever read (The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever, excerpt fourteen)

from The Slip: The New York City Street That Changed American Art Forever by Prudence Peiffer:

In this moment, Indiana didn’t just find his signature approach; he imprinted it onto his work. And he did so in direct defiance of Kelly. Words became a way for Indiana to go his own way, and he made it clear that this was at the center of the rupture between them. “That’s where my relationship with Kelly deteriorated—he didn’t think paintings should have words.” Kelly had also been upset that Twombly was using Indiana’s studio to paint in 1956; it’s unclear exactly why, perhaps jealousy or anxiety over Twombly’s own influence on Indiana’s work and closeness with Rauschenberg and Johns, but also perhaps because of Twombly’s use of graffiti. Twombly’s canvases went a step further in the way that they incorporated text as a kind of defacement. Among the scribbled words on his painting Academy, made in Indiana’s loft, is FUCK. And much later, Indiana explained that Kelly “abhorred the idea of words in paintings.” Not wanting to give Kelly credit for this turn in his work, Indiana nevertheless insisted that Kelly “had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my work became exclusively devoted to words.”

And yet, Kelly had himself experimented with words a few years earlier, when he and Indiana were still seeing each other—a chapter in his art that is far less known.

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