Brian O'Doherty

Add it up...

Here is the best description of "additive painting" I have ever read-

"Traditional ways of seeing pictures could roughly be fitted into two categories: the additive and the overall. The additive relates part to part in larger and larger units which eventually add up to the entire painting... Systems of checks and balances inflect each other until the "right" moment halts the process and freezes the picture. The general effect- the additive synthesis- then clarifies the picture, within which little pictures happily reside. Instructed by the parent picture, the eye is invited to make its own compositions within, finding pictures within pictures, details within details, before withdrawing to lock everything in again with the full glance at the parent picture."


O'Doherty, B. (1973). American Masters- the Voice and the Myth. New York, NY: Random House. p.198

Mind the gap...

"This book attempts to recognize and clarify a dialogue inseparable from modernism: that between an artist and his work on the one hand, and the audience on the other. There are large areas here for misunderstanding. The artist's intention does not always guide his work into its most worthwhile context. The work itself offers different complexions to contemporary- and succeeding- audiences."

O'Doherty, B. (1973). American Masters- the Voice and the Myth. New York, NY: Random House. p.6

Making room for aesthetics...

 "The history of modernism is intimately framed by... a white, ideal space... The ideal gallery subtracts from the artwork all cues that interfere with the fact that it is' art.' ...Some of the sanctity of the church, the formality of the coutrtroom, the mystique of the experimental laboratory joins with chic design to produce a unique chamber of aesthetics."

Brian O'Doherty, "Inside the White Cube: Notes on the Gallery Space, Part 1," Artforum, Mar. 1976, p. 24.