Cadences: Icon and Abstraction in Context
February 16 – April 7 1991
Why had abstract art reemerged at this point in time? Was this form of abstraction an unexpected or unusual departure from previous abstract art? And what cultural conditions of that time suggested it may be understood differently from other forms of abstractions? Discussing these questions runs the risk of positing a return to a modernist critique of representation and cultural power, a return to the “heroic” avant-garde that is no longer possible, or, alternatively, runs the risk of presenting abstraction as an elevated form of nostalgia for the individuality and originality of subjective artistic expression. It is a risk that is valuable in the face of the present crisis of meaning.