Tuesday, July 03, 2007


This year marks the 60th anniversary of artists beginning to dub their artworks “untitled.”
Clifford Still pioneered this trend, telling [his dealer] Betty Parsons on the occasion of his exhibit in 1947 that titles “would inevitably mislead the spectator, and delimit the meanings and implications latent in the works.” Rothko followed suit the next year and Pollock in 1949. Whereas [Barnett] Newman had provided titles for some of the works he made in 1946 and 1947, by the time he was painting in 1948 and 1949 the practice was passé. Titles for the paintings in his first exhibition [1950 solo show at Betty Parsons Gallery] would not materialize until several years later.
– Ann Temkin of New York’s Museum of Modern Art in her 2002 book “Barnett Newman,” which was published by Yale University Press.


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