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The Turn to Provisionality in Contemporary Art : Negative Work - Raphael Rubinstein

The Turn to Provisionality in Contemporary Art

Negative Work

By: Raphael Rubinstein

Paperback | 25 July 2024

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In his influential essay "Provisional Painting," Raphael Rubinstein applied the term "provisional" to contemporary painters whose work looked intentionally casual, dashed-off, tentative, unfinished or self-cancelling; who appeared to have deliberately turned away from "strong" painting for something that seemed to constantly risk failure or inconsequence.

In this collection of essays, Rubinstein expands the scope of his original article by surveying the historical and philosophical underpinnings of provisionality in recent visual art, as well as examining the works of individual artists in detail. He also engages crucial texts by Samuel Beckett and philosopher Gianni Vattimo.

Re-examining several decades of painting practices, Rubinstein argues that provisionality, in all its many forms, has been both a foundational element in the history of modern art and the encapsulation of an attitude that is profoundly contemporary.

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