Artwork

Arakawa + Gins
Morning Picture - Portrait of a Civilisation, 1969

Since 1963 Shusaku Arakawa and Madeline Gins have worked in New York on the idea of a universal work of art including architecture and the human body, poetry and philosophy. The work called Morning Picture, Portrait of Civilization, 1969, fits into the context of this research. Viewers read a constellation of fine lines on a thick white painted ground: two angles of 90° in the upper corners, horizontals and verticals define the idea of space, lines with perspective orientation allude to the classical Renaissance perspective picture space, an undulating shape at the bottom represents a kind of human footprint, while the hint of circular form in the upper picture field can be read as shorthand for mind, spirit or thought. The ‘objects’ omitted in the painting are involved on the bottom edge of the picture as a conceptual sequence: “Some of the things which the above dots and lines indicate are: a room, a window, a floor, a door, a man, a table, a cup, a [color], a shadow, a cat, a plant.”

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