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Generous law

Post #791 • May 18, 2006, 5:05 PM • 2 Comments

Letter from Philip Guston to Ross Feld, reprinted in Guston in Time:

I think you are writing about the generous law that exists in art. A law which can never be given but only found anew each time in the making of the work. It is a law, too, which allows your forms (characters) to spin away, take off, as if they have their own lives to lead - unexpected, too - as if you cannot completely control it all. I wonder why we seek this generous law, as I call it. For we do not know how it governs - and under what special conditions it comes into being. I don't think we are permitted to know, other than temporarily. A disappearance act. The only problem is how to keep away from the minds that close in and itch (God knows why) to define it.




May 18, 2006, 6:14 PM

This strikes me as something that has been said in many ways by many artists and probably could only have been said by an artist. I couldn't tell you exactly what he means, but I think I know anyway.

is the underlined "generous law" supposed to be a link? I don't get anything when I click it.



May 18, 2006, 6:16 PM

No link - I'm just trying to stay true to the typography of the letter.



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