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Both types of story serve to collapse the figurative poles of the complex double sculptural sign; stories of both animation and petrification end up reifying, objectifying, and literalizing that sign.
As with the clock or the courtroom, the surfacing of "the art world" into the paintings is a literalizing turn, an especially self-critical one, and it raises the Big Question: Did that turn make Guston's passions less arty and more legible, as he hoped, or did it just deflate them?
A Wry literalizing of the terms of both "medium" and "conceptual" in their dependence on the viewer for completion, the works put forth the idea of artwork as thought.
Previously overindebted to early Conceptual tactics of literalizing language's shortcomings, Mancuska has developed here an art of the set configuration, a scripted installation form all his own, in which the viewer encounters both a failure of subjectivity and a droll repurposing of serial form.
In some more recent installations, Walker has added opaque projectors throwing colored light, which distort space and complicate figure-ground relations while literalizing the metaphor of projection.
Either way, it had more to do with painting than literalizing a Newman zip into a flag's stripe.
Literalizing the Albertian idea of the picture-as-window, Hornig's photograph looks strikingly like an aperture in the wall.
But in such a jumbled combination, paintings, sculpture, and drawings became merely addenda to each other, literalizing rather than complicating the issues of reference that the paintings raise (i.
The center of Bengston's Ideal Exhaust, 1961, a kind of target formed by the radiating pipes of a motorcycle exhaust (the artist was a semiprofessional motorcycle racer), is occupied by the exhaust's heat exchangers, literalizing the focal point as the site of maximum intensity.
Literalizing the cliche of Woodstock as utopia and Altamont as dystopia, the two tapes and identical mirrors suggest that the concerts were of a piece.
Reconstructing and literalizing elements of a 1926 Klee painting, a scene of multiply displaced oedipal cannibalism--from artist-forefather to his work to the appropriational reconstruction to the devouring to the slide-recording--is staged in highly civilized and refined constructions, as elegant dinner and art piece.
As this installation revealed, merely to transport powerful material to the gallery and frame it with literalizing props is not enough.