New York Times

13. “separation from error”

And to distinguish it from the schism of our Dissenters, he says it is not a separation from the church, but a separation from error.

– The Christian Observer: ‘Review of Pamphlets on Union with the Church of Rome’, 1820

Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

– 1 Timothy 5:22 (King James Version)

Though he teaches Oriental art history (at Brooklyn and Hunter colleges), Reinhardt denies any undue Eastern influences on his purist pursuits. “Artists,” he says, “should have a kind of Malrauxian point of view, in which the whole history of art is known to and is part of them. Otherwise, they’re idiots, children” (his lip curls) “or romantics.”

– Grace Glueck: ‘Mr. Pure’,  New York Times, 13 November 1966

In turn, Mr. Reinhardt was called the “black monk” of abstract expressionism, and as he outlined his role as naysayer in numerous articles and manifestos, one art writer started referring to him as “Mr. Pure.”

– New York Times: ‘Ad Reinhardt, Painter, is Dead’, 1 September 1967

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39. “turning up as dark shadow, spreading stain, widening fissure Nay-sayers, underminers”

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

– James 1:17 (King James Version)

In turn, Mr. Reinhardt was called the “black monk” of abstract expressionism, and as he outlined his role as naysayer in numerous articles and manifestos, one art writer started referring to him as “Mr. Pure.”

– New York Times: ‘Ad Reinhardt, Painter, is Dead’, 1 September 1967

41. “Nausea”

The Nausea is not inside me: I feel it out there in the wall, in the suspenders, everywhere around me. It makes itself one with the café, I am the one who is within it.

– Jean Paul Satre: ‘Nausea’, 1938

Kermode admires in Sartre’s “La Nausee” the tension between paradigmatic form and contingent reality; but it seems to me clear that the viscous “reality” of “La Nausee” is just as much a fiction as any lies constructed in “bad faith,” although the former may be a fictive version of the world derived from the less explicit, probably unconscious perceptions of “order.” Are our fictions ever checked or qualified by anything but other fictions?

– Leo Bersani: ‘Variations On a Paradigm’, New York Times, 11 June 1967

44. “Masters of voidness Flaubert, Melville, Mallarme”

Though he teaches Oriental art history (at Brooklyn and Hunter colleges), Reinhardt denies any undue Eastern influences on his purist pursuits. “Artists,” he says, “should have a kind of Malrauxian point of view, in which the whole history of art is known to and is part of them. Otherwise, they’re idiots, children” (his lip curls) “or romantics.”

– Grace Glueck: ‘Mr. Pure’,  New York Times, 13 November 1966

47. “Interstices of void”

…Plato was well aware of the fact which Aristotle urges as a flaw in his theory, namely that it is impossible for all his figures to fill up space with entire continuity. In the structure of air and water there must be minute interstices of void; there must also be a certain amount of void for the reason that, the universe being a sphere it is impossible for rectilinear figures exactly to fill it up.

– John Cook Wilson: ‘On the Interpretation of Plato’s Timaeus’, 1889

Mr. Reinhardt is a puzzler. His tenacity over so long a period in the service of an increasingly tight premise is admirable. But the logical application of this premise (apparently, that by infinitely painstaking selection and discarding an artist may extract an irreducible essence from color and geometry, the bases of painting) has led him, , as it did not lead Mondrian, close to the discovery that essence but a void may lie at the end of his search.

– John Canaday: ‘Art, Running the Gamut’, New York Times, 21 October 1960

John Canaday, art critic of The New York Times, writing in 1960 of Mr. Reinhardt’s search for severe purity, said it “has led him, as it did not lead Mondrian, close to the discovery that essence but a void may lie at the end of his search.

– New York Times: ‘Ad Reinhardt, Painter, is Dead’, 1 September 1967

49. “Sense of an ending, paradigm of apocalypse”

And of course we have it now, the sense of an ending. It has not diminished, and is as endemic to what we call modernism as apocalyptic utopianism is to political revolution. When we live in the mood of end-dominated crisis, certain now-familiar patterns of assumption become evident. Yeats will help me to illustrate them.

– Frank Kermode: ‘Sense of An Ending’, Oxford University Press, 1967

Indeed, Kermode argues that our apocalyptic views of disorder, of crisis and perpetual transition in the contemporary world are contemporary ways of making sense of the world, of giving it an intelligible order. They are variations on a paradigm of sense-making statements which are constant in human history.

– Leo Bersani: ‘Variations On a Paradigm’, New York Times, 11 June 1967

50. “Structure mere successiveness into patterns”

We need ends and kairoi and the pleroma, even now when the history of the world has so terribly and so untidily expanded its endless successiveness. We re-create the horizons we have abolished, the structures that have collapsed; and we do so in terms of the old patterns, adapting them to our new worlds. Ends, for example, become a matter of images, figures for what does not exist except humanly. Our stories must recognize mere successiveness but not be merely successive; Ulysses, for example, may be said to unite the irreducible chronos of Dublin with the irreducible kairoi of Homer. In the middest, we look for a fullness of time, for beginning, middle, and end in concord.

– Frank Kermode: ‘Sense of An Ending’, Oxford University Press, 1967

For if what Kermode persistently refers to as merely successive, “real” time were in itself but another fiction, then he would be committed only to a study of various orders of fiction rather than to a study of fictions as changing responses to a hypothetically changeless and formless reality. And fictions may be sense-depriving as well as sense-making.

– Leo Bersani: ‘Variations On a Paradigm’, New York Times, 11 June 1967