Saturday 8 September 2018

Postscript on the bare presence of artistic intention

Wandering round the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art today there were some large bold abstract images by Roberto Juarez. The curatorial blurb, however, revealed that the abstract images were partly based on found objects and images. Further, the larger painted works were based on smaller designs which themselves had super-imposed grid lines to enable the construction of the larger works. These smaller designs, which were also on display, comprised collages including - it seemed - images from magazines and objects.

Putting this through the Scruton machinery, the existence of a feature in the larger painting was determined by a corresponding element in the smaller ‘scrap book’ as then carefully and apparently faithfully rendered in paint. Its being there was a combination of direct authorial intention in the application of brush strokes - though even here I’m sure such subsidiary elements were merely left to sub-personal motor-intentional capacities - and what had happened to present itself in magazine pages that morning (let’s assume). If on Scruton’s account, the only art in photography is the theatrical arrangement of elements, then in Juarez’ case, most of the art is in good scrap-booking.

I found that I preferred to forget all about this origin story and pretend that the finished works had fallen fully formed from Juarez’s imagination.