Thesis statement: When I was asked to participate in the discussion, it was suggested that I begin with a few words about my essay “Art and Objecthood”, which I wrote almost exactly twenty years ago.
Keyword: Art and Objecthood.
Topic statement: When I wrote it in early 1967, it was the culmination of a series of essays on recent developments in what has come to be called color-field painting, plus the sculpture of Anthony Caro- a body of work that seemed to me then, and continues to do so today, the most important and distinguished painting and sculpture of our time.
Supporting ideas: Observations- minimalist pieces- the art of the painters and sculptures- the radically abstract and antitheatrical art.
Topic sentence: These were part of the series of opposition that the essay attempts to set in place- between “presentness” and “presence”, instantaneous and duration, abstraction and objecthood.
Supporting sentence: The extent to which hostile responses- “Art and Objecthood”- tend not to be deconstructive in approach- but rather to attack the “positive” terms in the interests of “negative” terms.
Supporting Sentence: “Modernist Painting” in particular by its notion- that modernism in the arts involved- a process of reduction according to which dispensable conventions were progressively discarded until in the end one arrived at a kind of timeless and irreducible core.
Supporting sentence: Earlier art- considered overtly theatrical- but rather proposing that contemporary work that didn’t understand itself.
Supporting statement: The antitheatrical arguments of “Art and Objecthood” belong to a larger historical field than that of abstraction versus minimalist art in 1967.