The Meaning of Feeling

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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.


This lecture was part of an event, titled, "Barnett Newman's "Formalism": A Transatlantic Dialogue with Michael Schreyach & Eva Ehninger."

It was recorded at the Terra Foundation for American Art, Paris Center, September 30, 2014.

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Terra Foundation for American Art, Paris Center