Jeffrey Deitch – Psychological Abstraction

Psychological Abstraction, July 18–September 16, 1989, Deste Foundation, House of Cyprus, Athens

John Armleder, Alan Belcher, Gretchen Bender, Mary Carlson, Marcel Duchamp, Nancy Dwyer, Grenville Davey, Fischli & Weiss, Gunther Forg, Robert Gober, Joe Goode, Ti Shan Hsu, Christina Iglesias, George Lappas, Harald Klingelholler, Jeff Koons, Annette Lemieux, Man Ray, Piero Manzoni, Juan Munoz, Rob Scholte, Thomas Schutte, Mark Stahl, Philip Taaffe, Kathleen Thomas, Rosemarie Trockel, Jan Vercruysse, Wallace & Donahue

Psychological Abstraction

In art and in the world at large, the categories of abstraction and representation have been re-shuffled and redefined. With an ever growing awareness of image manipulation, psychographic marketing, and other aspects of contemporary communication, a new art form that has not yet really been categorized seems to be developing out of this mass-media-shaped consciousness. Contrary to the widespread perception of much of the new art as “cool” and “austere,” most of the best, new art is even more deeply psychologically and emotionally charged.

Psychological Abstraction refers to the interventions created by the artworks in question; these works, neither abstract nor representational, are contemporary, visual objects which express in various ways the influences of today’s culture on the fine arts. As the new understanding of basic nuclear and cell structures informed the revolutionary art of Picasso and Kandinsky, the “alternative realities” and image processing of computer and telecommunications technologies are providing the basis for a new art form that appears to be emerging. These new conditions, dictated by electronic technology, consumer culture, and the mass media, invoke images from our memory and our life experiences in a concrete way, creating various mental sequences.

The same type of tremendous transformations in science, economics, and society that formed the context for the invention of abstract art at the beginning of the century is again providing the foundation for a new vision in art. The new visual phenomena have so modified the terms of our perception and behavior that we cannot help but approach these works of art through a different criteria from those previously established.

Deste Foundation, House of Cyprus, Athens, July 18–September 16, 1989

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