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Investigations: The Expanded Field of Writing in the Works of Robert Morris

 | 
Katia Schneller
, 
Noura Wedell

III. Displacing Genres

Robert Morris and Allan Kaprow: Experience, from Theory to Performance Art

Cécile Mahiou

Texte intégral

1As a maker of sculptures, of performances, dances, as well as conceptual art objects, Robert Morris is an unclassifiable artist who, although an active participant in theoretical reflections on the artistic innovations of his day, nevertheless cannot be assimilated into a determined school or current of thought, whether it be minimalism or conceptual art. Experimentation is at the heart of his artistic process, which could explain the eclecticism of his oeuvre. To analyze the ambiguous rapport of Robert Morris to performance, or, in a larger sense, to the performing arts, it would be interesting to examine the often indirect dialogue the artist began, during these years of intense theoretical reflection, with Allan Kaprow, who is considered the creator of a new participative artistic practice, the happening. In a 1983 text published in Artforum, Kaprow, examining what constitutes “the real experiment,” as the title states, wrote:

  • 1 Allan Kaprow, “The Real Experiment” [1983], in Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, edited by J (...)

Western art actually has two avant-garde histories: one of artlike art and the other of lifelike art. They’ve been lumped together as parts of a succession of movements fervently committed to innovation, but they represent fundamentally contrasting philosophies of reality […]. Simplistically put, artlike art holds that art is separate from life and everything else, whereas lifelike art holds that art is connected to life and everything else. In other words, there is art at the service of art and art as the service of life. 1

2Kaprow places himself resolutely on the side of an art that chooses experimentation in order to question the borders separating art and life, and the formulation of this distinction is in some sense an answer to another directive, that of a formalist avant-garde that protected, during the 1950s, the specifically artistic nature of an art that aspired to purity and quality, of which Ad Reinhardt’s formulation is particularly characteristic:

  • 2 Ad Reinhardt, “Art-as-Art,” Art International (December 20, 1962), p. 36.

The one thing to say about art is that it is one thing. Art is art-as-art and everything else is everything else.2

3“Lifelike art” in the sense that Kaprow understands it unites the different artistic practices that come out of performance. Broadly defined, we are considering performance less as a particular artistic genre than as the paradigm of practices that reveal the procedural force of artistic making. In this sense, performance art comes out of an interest in creative and interpretive activity rather than a concern for the object that would result from this activity.

  • 3 Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” originally published in Artforum, vol. 5, no. 10 (June 1967). (...)

4I will first discuss the theoretical debates surrounding minimalism, in which Morris and Kaprow played a part. Michael Fried, in a well-known article, proposed the paradigm of “theatricality” to account for the anti-formalist avant-garde art practices,3 which Kaprow grouped under the banner of “lifelike art.” This paradigm seems particularly useful in understanding Morris’ different productions as well as the experimental dimension of his artistic practice.

  • 4 Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part 4: Beyond Objects,” 1969, in Continuous Project Altered D (...)
  • 5vital art,” Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, in Have I Reasons: Work and Writings, 1993-2007, (...)
  • 6 Pragmatism is a theory of referentiality that studies meaning from the point of view of the relati (...)
  • 7 Yoann Barbereau, “Expérience et performance. Fragments d’un dialogue pragmatiste,” Revue d’esthéti (...)
  • 8 John Dewey, Art as experience [1934] (New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1980).

5Morris’ work distinguishes itself from those artistic productions associated with minimal or conceptual art by privileging process over the object, the perception of the work within its environment over the idea. Moreover, his oeuvre is marked by the necessity to reflect upon the possibility of broadening the artistic field, either by taking art out of the museum or by moving, according to the subtitle of the fourth part of his article “Notes on Sculpture,”4 “beyond objects”—beyond the art object. In the choice that Morris made of an art that he himself qualified as “vital art,”5 we can read the same interest Kaprow had for the question of experience. In this sense, the pragmatic theories6 that had directly influenced Kaprow might very well shed light upon Morris’ oeuvre.7 Secondly, I will therefore attempt to demonstrate this by examining a few of the ideas formulated by John Dewey in his work Art as Experience.8

Kaprow, Morris and the Paradigm of “Theatricality”

“Theatrical” Art or the Degeneration of Art?

  • 9 Michael Fried, “Art and objecthood,” op. cit.
  • 10 Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part 4: Beyond Objects,” 1969, pp. 42-44 and “Notes on Sculptu (...)

6In “Art and Objecthood,”9 Fried analyzed the productions associated with the current of minimalist sculpture, and in particular works by Morris, who had himself proposed, in an important article dating from 1966,10 a theoretical reflection on these formal innovations. Fried takes issue with the “literality” of these objects, which are above all simple and “unitary” forms according to Morris’ own terminology. Morris writes in “Notes on Sculpture”:

  • 11 Robert Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris, 1993, p. 8.

Simplicity of shape does not necessarily equate with simplicity of experience. Unitary forms do not reduce relationships. They order them. If the predominant, hieratic nature of the unitary form functions as a constant, all those particularizing relations of scale, proportion, etc., are not thereby canceled.11

7Fried considers this attention paid to the external relations maintained by the object with its context characteristic of a will to approach “non-art” and what he calls “objecthood.”

  • 12 Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” op. cit., p. 153.

The experience of literalist art is of an object in a situation—one that, virtually by definition, includes the beholder.12

8This art is “neither painting nor sculpture” for Fried, who makes use, here, of the notion of “theatricality” to define what he considers a degeneracy of form. Indeed, according to the modernist perspective, form must be self-sufficient. His article proclaims the necessity of a resistance on the part of artists to what, within contemporary artistic experimentation, endangers the necessary aspiration of art toward purity and quality. Here are the conclusions of his analysis:

Theater and theatricality are at war today, not simply with modernist painting (or modernist painting and sculpture), but with art as such—and to the extent that the different arts can be described as modernist, with modernist sensibility as such […].

The success, even the survival of the arts has come increasingly to depend on their ability to defeat theater […].

  • 13 Ibid., p. 164.

The concepts of quality and value—and to the extent that these are central to art, the concept of art itself—are meaningful, or wholly meaningful, only within the individual arts. What lies between the arts is theater.13

9The threat to be countered is, for Fried, the will to collapse the barriers that exist between the arts. Fried also describes more radical attempts at a synthesis of the different arts, of which the event organized by John Cage in 1952 is particularly representative. Cage had brought together different artists at Black Mountain College, in a complex assemblage of events including the white paintings of Robert Rauschenberg, the dancer Merce Cunningham, the projection of slides and films, the broadcasting of recorded music, radio programs, and declamations of poetry. The audience, placed at the center of these diverse activities, was left free to react at will. As Irving Sandler wrote,

  • 14 Irving Sandler, American Art of the 1960s (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1988), p. 253.

It was Cage who had championed a theatrical art; he claimed that all of the arts ought to break down the barriers between art and life and aspire to the condition of theater.14

10However, the alignment of Cage’s experiments and of minimalist sculpture under the same accusation of “theatricality” is what sheds the most light on the singularity of Morris’ undertaking, and establishes the coherence of his questions concerning art and his position on the avant-garde scene.

Theatre, Dance, Experimentation: Defending the Performing Arts

11The paradigm of theatricality proposed by Fried in his article, within a critical perspective and as a manifesto for an elevated artform, or one deemed as such, is particularly useful in grasping the importance of the experimental dimension of Morris’ oeuvre. In a 2000 article entitled “Size Matters,” in which he reflects on the minimalism of the day, Morris writes:

  • 15 Robert Morris, “Size Matters”, 2000, p. 135 note 8.

In retrospect the only fault I find with Fried’s essay is that it did not extend the concept of theatricality far enough.15

  • 16 Robert Morris. The Mind/Body Problem, 1994, pp. 90-92.

12There is a piece by Morris that especially echoes this association of “theatricality” to minimalist sculpture. It is the 1961 piece entitled Columns, which was in fact a performance presented at the Living Theater in New York, and organized around Morris’ first minimal sculpture. The object is a rectangular column, made of plywood and painted gray, which was positioned at the center of the stage. The actual performance was divided into two distinct movements: first, the column stayed as it was, for three minutes, at the center of the stage, and then during the three ensuing minutes, knocked down by a stage device, it was left lying onstage—Morris had at first thought of putting himself inside the sculpture, to topple it over himself.16 The idea was to substitute for the dancer, in a specific kind of choreography, a sculpture that could bring the spectators to perceive space in a different way, as would the movements of the dancer’s body onstage, through their relation to the “unitary form” of the sculpture. This work possesses a meta-artistic dimension that repeats, by its staging, the role played by the external relations of the object in its elaboration as an art object. During this period, Morris was following the experiments at the Judson Dance Theatre, notably those of Simone Forti, around the development of a “new dance,” an experimental practice that privileged ordinary movements to the art of composition that characterizes traditional ballet. The innovations of “new dance” and those of “new sculpture” are very similar, and Morris’ first sculptures were objects meant to help elaborate choreographies. One can read in both a similar conception of the properties of the work of art as relational—and no longer formal—in nature. Oldenburg has defined the happening as “a theater of action or of things (people too regarded as things),” a definition which takes into account the filial relation between happenings and the choreographies/performances of the Judson Dance Theater.

13Therefore, and despite the fact that minimalist sculpture has been reproached for maintaining a certain formalist bent, experimentation is indeed what characterizes Morris’ artistic endeavor. The evolution of his practice is witness to this: his plywood structures, marked by a certain rigidity, are followed by sculptures in felt, whose material dimension is particularly present insofar as the artist leaves the material to arrange itself according to its own physical nature.

How to “Get Free of the Rectangle”17

  • 17 Allan Kaprow, “The Shape of the Art Environment,” Artforum, vol. 6, no. 10 (1968), pp. 32-33. Repr (...)
  • 18 For an example of a Morris felt, see Fig. 54.

14He comes to grips with this evolution in a new article entitled “Anti-form,” published in Artforum in 1968. The title of the article, which is not the doing of Morris himself, refers to the quarrel within the avant-gardes and to the opposition to formalism mentioned above. The article that Kaprow writes as a response, “The Shape of Art Environment,” returns to important aspects of this theoretical debate. Analyzing Morris’ felt sculpture Untitled 1967,18 Kaprow criticizes Morris for failing to refresh his reflection on form, contrary to what is suggested by his title-manifesto. For Kaprow, the formal problem that the artist confronts should not lead him to explore the dialectic of form and formlessness in his work, but rather to ask how he might “get free of the rectangle,” which is to say, free of the white cube, of the delimited space of the gallery or the exhibition hall. According to Kaprow’s analysis, “amorphous” sculptures exhibited in a “rectangular studio” cannot be viewed in any way other than through the formal relations that they maintain with their rectilinear environment. He thus blames Morris for not being radical enough in his taking-to-task of the formal limits defended by the adherents of “art-Art,” to use his term, that is, the form of art that would seek to preserve the autonomy of art and of the work of art.

15Kaprow’s article bears witness to a circumstantial opposition, more directed toward the unfortunate, and eminently polemical “title” of the article. All the same, the diversity of Morris’ artistic production during this period would seem to refute Kaprow’s claim. Morris announces, as early as his article “Notes on Sculpture,” that getting sculpture out of the museum will necessarily follow upon the experimentation characteristic of the new sculpture. Continuous Project Altered Daily is a work in progress that prefigures other experiments to come, those of the earthworks. Morris plays with, and mocks, the borders between exterior, natural space and the interior space of the museum. His outdoor work, Observatory for example, seems to be a symmetrical answer to the installation, during the Spaces exhibition at MoMA, of a pine forest in a museum space.

16Observing the works and theoretical writings of Morris through the paradigm of theatricality reveals the importance of experimentation to the articulation of his practice. Participatory art and the critical relation to the museum institution are preoccupations common to both Kaprow and Morris, as is the necessity of conceiving the artwork as an interaction between the object, the environment, the artist, and the spectator. This conception of artwork echoes certain theses formulated by the philosopher John Dewey in his book Art as Experience. Taking into account Morris’ criticism of this aesthetics and of the manner in which it nourished the evolution of artistic practice, I shall attempt to shed light upon the similarities and differences between Morris’ and Kaprow’s artistic and theoretical practices by confronting them to the issue of experience.

Art and Experience: Robert Morris and the Pragmatist Aesthetics

“The Legacy of Jackson Pollock”

  • 19 Allan Kaprow, Art News, no. 57, New York (1958), pp. 24-26 and 55-57 reprinted in Jeff Kelley, ed. (...)
  • 20 Harold Rosenberg, “The Americain Action Painters,” Art News, December 1952, p. 51.

17We are concerned here with the title of an article by Kaprow dating from 1958,19 which returns to the decisive importance of Pollock for artistic avant-gardes. In this article, which is both an homage and an aesthetic program, Kaprow presents Pollock’s formal innovations as the foundational moment of the experimental arts. Morris himself has often acknowledged Pollock’s influence on his work and, just like Kaprow, produced abstract expressionist paintings in the 1950s. Both artists, in their theoretical writings, inscribe their approach within the continuity of Pollock’s and in accordance to Rosenberg’s analyses of “action painting:”20 the artwork contains the experience of its making—it is a fact, an action, and not an image. Pollock’s artistic approach interests them especially for the attention it brought to the dimension of process in artistic creation. The technique of “dripping”—a way of projecting paint with sticks or pots of paint with holes in them onto canvases spread out on the floor—attested to the importance accorded to the physical act of painting as process. The “all-over” technique, which sought to spread the painting uniformly over the surface of the canvas without considering its edges as limits, marked the refusal of composition and the importance of chance and the arbitrary in the making of the work, in opposition to the a priori idea that presides over representation and figuration.

  • 21 Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, p. 125.
  • 22 Clement Greenberg, “Modernist painting,” Arts Yearbook 4 (1961), p. 107; cited by Irving Sandler, (...)

18As Kaprow explains in his article, these innovations of Pollock’s had a direct influence upon artists within the avant-gardes of the sixties. One of Kaprow’s first happenings, in 1960, entitled An Apple Shrine, took place in an environment that Kaprow himself linked to abstract expressionism. An accumulation of newspaper, cardboard, and straw, were scattered at random, nearly filling the space that contained them. Morris’ work Threadwaste, from 1968, consists in a layer, covering all the exhibition space, of different kinds of waste material and scraps of cloth, among which mirrors were placed. The resemblance with the paintings of Pollock is striking. Whereas the importance accorded to the process was in some way “annulled” when these canvasses were hung on the wall of a museum—which prevented the spectator from perceiving them in any way other than as paintings, in an essentially optical manner—Morris’ installations, and Threadwaste in particular, are characterized by the displacement Morris operates from optical perception—where only the sense of sight is engaged—to haptic perception, which also engages the other senses.21 This way of thinking, essential for Morris, who sees therein the specificity of his contribution to the minimal art movement, is opposed to Clement Greenberg’s purist manifesto in favor of a “visual art that should confine itself exclusively to what is given in visual experience, and make no reference to anything given in any other order of experience.”22

Experience: the Continuity between Art and Life

19This taking-into-account of the dimension of experience, “inherited” from Jackson Pollock, owes an equal debt to pragmatist aesthetic theories, in particular to John Dewey’s Art as Experience (1934). Pragmatism supposes that the primary reality to which we have access is that of relations and not of things, which is to say, that of interactions; it is thus opposed to dualist metaphysics, which seizes first upon entities in order to put them into relation. I quote Dewey here, from Chapter III of Art as Experience, entitled “Having an Experience”:

  • 23 John Dewey, Art as Experience, op. cit., p. 35.

Experience occurs continuously, because the interaction of live creature and environing conditions is involved in the very process of living.23

20Dewey applies to art this primacy accorded to experience. In the first chapter, entitled “The Live Creature,” Dewey opposes the art object or “art product” to the “work of art” to formulate the following definition:

  • 24 Ibid., Chapter X “The Varied Substance of the Art,” p. 214.

The work takes place when a human being cooperates with the product so that the outcome is an experience that is enjoyed because of its liberating and ordered properties.24

21Art, just like experience, is therefore considered as a relation, an interaction between an object and an individual. In his article “Some Notes on the Phenomenology of Making,” Morris acknowledges this primacy, in experimental art, of the process and of the issue of materiality:

  • 25 Robert Morris, “Some Notes on the Phenomenology of Making: The Search for the Motivated,” 1970, pp (...)

Whatever else art is, at a very simple level it is a way of making. So are a lot of other things.25

22This is a rewording of what Dewey exposes in Art as Experience: art is but one example, among others, of human activities. As such, there is no necessity to preserve, as Fried attempts to do, the autarkic status of the work, and beyond that, the autonomy of the artistic sphere. The need to blur the boundaries between art and life, to take up the title of the collection of articles by Kaprow, results from Dewey’s critique of this radical separation between the domain of art and that of ordinary experience:

  • 26 John Dewey, Art as experience, op. cit., pp. 3-4. Author’s emphasis.

When artistic objects are separated from both conditions of origin and operation in experience, a wall is built around them that renders almost opaque their general significance, with which esthetic theory deals. Art is remitted to a separate realm, where it is cut off from that association with the materials and aims of every other form of human effort, undergoing, and achievement. A primary task is thus imposed upon one who undertakes to write upon the philosophy of the fine arts. This task is to restore continuity between the refined and intensified forms of experience that are works of art and the everyday events, doings, and sufferings that are universally recognized to constitute experience.26

23According to his pragmatist theory, experience is at the heart of aesthetics and establishes a continuity between the artistic, conceived as the act of producing the work, and the aesthetic, which designates the act of perception and the sensation of pleasure and more generally whatever comes from the aesthetic relation. The artwork cannot be perceived as a thing physically independent of experience. The task of the philosopher, like that of the artist, is to reestablish this lost continuity between art and life:

  • 27 John Dewey, Art as experience, op. cit., p. 11.

The understanding of art and of its role in civilization is not furthered by setting out with eulogies of it nor by occupying ourselves exclusively at the outset with great works of art recognized as such. The comprehension which theory essays will be arrived at by a detour; by going back to experience of the common or mill run of things to discover the esthetic quality such experience possesses.27

Ordinary Aesthetic Experience

24So, the critique of the artistic, for Dewey, goes with a valorization of the properly aesthetic dimension of all experience:

  • 28 Ibid., p. 35.

We have an experience when the material experienced runs its course to fulfillment. Then and then only it is integrated within and demarcated in the general stream of experience from other experiences. A piece of work is finished in a way that is satisfactory; a problem receives its solution; a game is played through; a situation, whether that of eating a meal, playing a game of chess, carrying on a conversation, writing a book, or taking part in a political campaign, is so rounded out that its close is a consummation and not a cessation. Such an experience is a whole and carries with it its own individualizing quality and self-sufficiency. It is an experience.28

  • 29 Robert Morris, “A Method for Sorting Cows,” [1961] 1967.
  • 30 Robert Morris, Arizona, Twenty-minute solo presented at Judson Memorial Church, New York, June 23, (...)

25According to this definition, the aesthetic experience is differentiated from ordinary experience only because it constitutes a totality that integrates the elements of ordinary experience and confers on them a unity and particular intensity. The aesthetic experience is a moment in which consciousness seizes upon ordinary experience for itself, as though detached from all finality. In this, it possesses a specific sense and a value. A text by Morris seems to me useful to illustrate this definition given by Dewey: “A Method for Sorting Cows,”29 which was written to be read onstage in Arizona,30 the first dance that Morris choreographed and executed in 1963. We might have questions about the status of this particular text, which factually relates the procedure of the ordinary and very codified task of sorting cows. It is a childhood memory—that of the fascination that Morris felt when watching his father completing the task, and of his father’s feeling of happiness and excitement in doing so. It is also the description of an ordinary action that possesses the characteristics that Dewey associates with aesthetic experience—closure, individualization, totality, and its immediate perception as unitary experience. One could hypothesize that the reading of this text onstage in a theater during a performance is a kind of mise en abyme of the paradoxical aesthetic dimension of the described experience. The way Morris accounts for the “instructions” corresponding to the method of sorting cows calls to mind the “scores” that Kaprow conceived as the framework of his happenings and on which the instructions for participants in the performance appeared.

  • 31 Dominique Chateau, John Dewey et Albert C. Barnes: philosophie pragmatique et arts plastiques (Par (...)

26The practices that foreground participation and the mechanisms of perception are emblematic of a conception of art as an art of doing, poïesis. A practice that “maximizes the existential values of art rather than only the visual and formal values”31 is truly a form of experimental art that is developed at the moving border that separates art and life and whose goal is to change art as much as to change life. One can see, here, a form of art engaged with life rather than with art—a form of art that Dewey would seem to have wished. As Richard Shusterman writes:

  • 32 Richard Shusterman, “The End of Aesthetic Experience,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism(...)

By rethinking art in terms of aesthetic experience, Dewey hoped we could radically enlarge and democratize the domain of art, integrating it more fully into the real world which would be greatly improved by the pursuit of such manifold arts of living.32

27Allan Kaprow has the same objective: the artist should not preoccupy himself with the specific nature of what the artistic might be in relation to aesthetics, but rather he should seek to not make art. The happening is not necessarily an artistic category—art in the act of its making—but it can also be life in the act of being lived:

  • 33 Interview with Allan Kaprow by Jacques Donguy, Paris: Art Press, September, 1992, p. 45. Author’s (...)

The happening could easily have been called a game or a psychological amusement. I often said when asked that it wasn’t art at all.33

What Limits Can Be Ascribed to the Broadening of the Artistic Field?

28Morris’ approach is not marked by the same contradictory radicalness as that of Kaprow, who ultimately rejects the term “happening,” which had become generic, preferring “activity,” less susceptible to being recuperated by artists to designate new practices that would once again come to separate art from the ordinary. Morris’ position with regard to Dewey’s pragmatist aesthetics and the manner in which Dewey influenced artistic practice is nuanced. According to him, the critique of the elitist partitioning between art and life has led to the proclamation that everything is art and that everyone is an artist. Aesthetics are of course no longer considered to be isolated in a “separate realm” that would have no connection to the rest of existence, as Dewey had denounced. On the contrary, its omnipresence in urban life and the importance of what Morris calls “lifestyles” testify to an aestheticization of space that poses its own problems for art and artists. In “Size Matters,” Morris elaborates upon his questions:

  • 34 Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, p. 122.

What role is art to play in an arena where the self-conscious shaping of a lifestyle already frames an aesthetic space around the body? If today the values of entertainment and fashion mediate the merger of art and life, didn’t these two always squeeze pretty close together in the heated environment framing an earlier more elite, autonomous art? If art and life have merged in unprecedented ways today the question arises as to what kind of art is present in the merging and what kind of life is being lived in the midst of a new aesthetic saturation?34

  • 35 Richard Shusterman, “The End of Aesthetic Experience,” op. cit., p. 39.

29These questions are not in disaccord with the pragmatist conception of aesthetic theory, which considers that, “rather than defining art or justifying critical verdicts, the concept is directional, reminding us of what is worth seeking in art and elsewhere in life.”35 The question of the “quality” of the aesthetic experience, in art and the arts of daily life alike, is present in the philosophy of Dewey and in his calling-into-question of the dualism between art and aesthetics. For the philosopher, the difference between an aesthetic experience and an ordinary experience is qualitative, and the art that is inscribed within this moving space between art and life and which seeks to redefine its contours cannot economize on a reflection based on art and life at the same time. For Morris, however, the aestheticization of life questions the pragmatist conception of an empirical experience which would coincide with the limits of art. Morris asks essential questions that stress the utopian nature of Kaprow’s radical desire to elaborate a form of artistic behavior that would constantly play with the borders separating art and life, always seeking to enlarge the field of the artistic and to open it to the whole of human activity.

  • 36 Joseph Kosuth, “Art after philosophy,” Studio International (October 1969), reprinted in Art After (...)

30The experimental dimension of Morris’ oeuvre exemplifies the impossibility of reducing postmodern art to a conceptual art in which the work would only be in relation to an idea. For the artist Joseph Kosuth, the value of an artist after Duchamp is measured by the force of his interrogation on the nature of art itself, as he wrote in his famous 1969 article Art After Philosophy, in which he defined art by the tautological formulation—“art as idea as idea.”36 Such conceptual art in some way maintains the problematics of art-for-art’s sake and rejects properly aesthetic modes of questioning, to focus solely on the artistic.

31In the alternative proposed by Kaprow, the artistic approach of Robert Morris is situated on the side of a performing art that seeks to carry existential values, and stands opposed to an essentialist conception of art, or a conception of art as a theory of art. As a committed practice, performance turns “lifelike art” into a means of knowledge, and thus goes further than questioning the notion of art itself.

Notes

1 Allan Kaprow, “The Real Experiment” [1983], in Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, edited by Jeff Kelley (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993), p. 201. My emphasis.

2 Ad Reinhardt, “Art-as-Art,” Art International (December 20, 1962), p. 36.

3 Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” originally published in Artforum, vol. 5, no. 10 (June 1967). Republished in Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood, Essays and Reviews (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 148-172.

4 Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part 4: Beyond Objects,” 1969, in Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris, 1993, pp. 42-44.

5vital art,” Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, in Have I Reasons: Work and Writings, 1993-2007, 2008, p. 127.

6 Pragmatism is a theory of referentiality that studies meaning from the point of view of the relation of the object to the context in which it is situated, rather than from the point of view of the relation between the object and the idea.

7 Yoann Barbereau, “Expérience et performance. Fragments d’un dialogue pragmatiste,” Revue d’esthétique, no. 144 (2003), pp. 24-35.

8 John Dewey, Art as experience [1934] (New York: The Berkley Publishing Group, 1980).

9 Michael Fried, “Art and objecthood,” op. cit.

10 Robert Morris, “Notes on Sculpture, Part 4: Beyond Objects,” 1969, pp. 42-44 and “Notes on Sculpture, Part 2,” 1966, pp. 20-23.

11 Robert Morris, Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris, 1993, p. 8.

12 Michael Fried, “Art and Objecthood,” op. cit., p. 153.

13 Ibid., p. 164.

14 Irving Sandler, American Art of the 1960s (New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1988), p. 253.

15 Robert Morris, “Size Matters”, 2000, p. 135 note 8.

16 Robert Morris. The Mind/Body Problem, 1994, pp. 90-92.

17 Allan Kaprow, “The Shape of the Art Environment,” Artforum, vol. 6, no. 10 (1968), pp. 32-33. Reprinted in Jeff Kelley, ed., Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, op. cit., pp. 90-94.

18 For an example of a Morris felt, see Fig. 54.

19 Allan Kaprow, Art News, no. 57, New York (1958), pp. 24-26 and 55-57 reprinted in Jeff Kelley, ed., Essays on the Blurring of Art and Life, op. cit., pp. 1-9.

20 Harold Rosenberg, “The Americain Action Painters,” Art News, December 1952, p. 51.

21 Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, p. 125.

22 Clement Greenberg, “Modernist painting,” Arts Yearbook 4 (1961), p. 107; cited by Irving Sandler, American Art of the 1960s, op. cit., p. 46.

23 John Dewey, Art as Experience, op. cit., p. 35.

24 Ibid., Chapter X “The Varied Substance of the Art,” p. 214.

25 Robert Morris, “Some Notes on the Phenomenology of Making: The Search for the Motivated,” 1970, pp. 62-66. Reprinted in Continuous Project Altered Daily: The Writings of Robert Morris, 1993, pp. 71-93.

26 John Dewey, Art as experience, op. cit., pp. 3-4. Author’s emphasis.

27 John Dewey, Art as experience, op. cit., p. 11.

28 Ibid., p. 35.

29 Robert Morris, “A Method for Sorting Cows,” [1961] 1967.

30 Robert Morris, Arizona, Twenty-minute solo presented at Judson Memorial Church, New York, June 23, 1963.

31 Dominique Chateau, John Dewey et Albert C. Barnes: philosophie pragmatique et arts plastiques (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2003), p. 70. Author’s translation.

32 Richard Shusterman, “The End of Aesthetic Experience,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 55, no. 1 (Winter 1997), p. 33.

33 Interview with Allan Kaprow by Jacques Donguy, Paris: Art Press, September, 1992, p. 45. Author’s translation.

34 Robert Morris, “Size Matters,” 2000, p. 122.

35 Richard Shusterman, “The End of Aesthetic Experience,” op. cit., p. 39.

36 Joseph Kosuth, “Art after philosophy,” Studio International (October 1969), reprinted in Art After Philosophy and After. Collected Writings (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1993). See also Anne Moeglin-Delcroix, “Les deux sources de l’illimitation de l’art,” in Les frontières esthétiques de l’art (Paris: l’Harmattan, 1999), pp. 27-46.

Auteur

Doctoral candidate in æsthetics, Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne.

© ENS Éditions, 2015

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