In Hans Beltingís The Invisible Masterpiece, the German art historian reports the findings of a recent physical examination (symptomatic of our modern-day scientistic bent) of Kazimir Malevich's Black Square (1915) revealing the existence of a composition under the iconic figure. It might seem paradoxical for Belting to base his arguments on studio practice, seeing as the Russian Suprematist's approach was characterized by a certain "denial" of pictorial matter. According precedence to the artist's intention over the physical reality of the painting in fact merely brings us back to the traditional hierarchy of the stages of artistic creation that long prevailed among artists and art historians, between the artistís idea or invention and its concrete execution. This debate, which crystallized in 16th-century Italy around the concept of disegno Ė drawing Ė, should benefit from a reformulation and a more modern perspective, extending its theoretical and epistemological scope with a question that is central to certain 20th- and 21st-century artistic practices: that of joint or separate work, of project and process.
Editors: AnaŽl Lejeune and RaphaŽl Pirenne
Essays by AnaŽl Lejeune and RaphaŽl Pirenne, Mathilde Bert, Ralph Dekoninck, Maud Hagelstein, Claire Barbillon, Friedrich Teja Bach, AnaŽl Lejeune and Tristan Trémeau
Art intervention by Jacqueline Mesmaeker
Published in 2009
In French and English
21 x 27 cm