The Meaning of Feeling
Throughout his career, Barnett Newman consistently rejected the charge that his radically abstract paintings were “formalist,” and resisted the notion that the content of his art could be understood through formal analysis. He claimed never to have “planned” a painting (he never tired of criticizing “aesthetics”), but rather concerned himself with fundamental problems of meaning. Still, just as Newman’s work benefitted from the authority of formalist criticism during the 1950s and 1960s, the assessment of his achievement declined under postmodernism. In discussing current approaches to Newman’s work from an American and a European perspective, this Paris Center dialogue between Michael Schreyach and Eva Ehninger focuses on the goals and limitations of a critically informed and historically conscious formalism.
Schreyach, Michael. "The Meaning of Feeling." Barnett Newman's "Formalism": A Transatlantic Dialogue with Michael Schreyach & Eva Ehninger. Terra Foundation for America Art, Paris Center. 30 September 2014. Online audio clip. http://www.terraamericanart.org/barnett-newmans-formalism-a-transatlantic-dialogue-with-michael-schreyach-eva-ehninger/