The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Making Flippy Floppy
In South Africa, a conceptual artist got his way and was given permission for his cutting edge installation. Here is the result:

He merely took a gallery of Dutch old master paintings and turned them around, so that the picture faced the wall. The sort of effacing gesture (and gesture is all it it is) has been tried before: notably Robert Rauschenberg's "Erased DeKooning Drawing". For many it will induce a wry smirk, for others laughter. The stuff of the evening news when they need something light hearted to soften the violence and gloom.

But I must say that as an art historian this is a wonderful opportunity. The backs of paintings are full of information: provenance records, notes, descriptive information, etc. And it gives us an opportunity to see the craft that goes into preparing panels and canvases for painting. I wish I could be there to view it.