Thursday, November 01, 2007

Art and Jan Svenungsson

"In art, no problems are ever eliminated." (Jan Svenungsson, An Artist's Text Book, forthcoming)

I once wrote an essay on Jan's work, "Abstract Reception." Here is the opening paragraph:

'For me, Jan Svenungsson's work is "abstract" in the etymological sense: it has been withdrawn from me (Latin abstractus, from abstrahere, to withdraw, to draw away). When I suggested to Jan that I write something about his work, he immediately forbade me to look at any of his works until I had done so. This would be an interesting project: the obstacles faced by a writer discussing an artist's work from memory are worth addressing. However, I have never seen Jan's work (nor met him in person); I have only read texts about it ...'

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