For us, Conceptual Art was never a mature professional style but a black box (or a black box in a black box); what is sometimes called ‘a genuine historical moment’, changing forever whatever happened ‘next’. What happened in that moment inaugurated a process and a project. And it was given to this project to recognise that there continue to be baffling relations between text, pictures and painting, and that the expulsion of the two latter from the purview of the artist is a cheap closure which fails to recognise the constructedness of the world…Art & Language’s practice has been project-like and essay-like. And this entails that it must be a critical practice…a collaborative practice. Work, in the sense of non-wordy action and its consequences, is embedded and then re-embedded in conversation, until the edges of what is work and what isn’t work vanish and then re-appear in different places. (‘Making Meaningless’, Art & Language in Practice (cat) Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona, 1999).
Sprovieri has announced its second collaboration of the gallery with Art & Language, Picasso’s Guernica in the Style of Jackson Pollock (Essay II).
Picasso’s Guernica in the Style of Jackson Pollock (Essay II), 1980-2019, is a large rectangular work on paper, where the powerful and dramatic painting by Picasso Guernica is disguised as a Pollock-like painting. The work was not produced by means of the ‘literal’ use of Pollock’s well known technique. It is rather a drawing in which drips and spatters are represented or depicted. The drawing is made with Indian ink on 114 sheets of Teslin, printed with essays and texts written by the artists themselves between 1980 and 2016.
Art & Language challenges the value placed on identity, uniqueness, authenticity and exchange in the art world. Employing multiple media such as texts, installations and music, the group questions the essence and role of the art object and its authority, as well as the role of art institutions, artists and audiences.
Featured image: Art & Language, Picasso’s Guernica in the Style of Jackson Pollock (Essay II) (detail)