the opaque civilization

picked up an exhibition catalog at strand yesterday for a show held at the guggenheim in 1984 called the opaque civilization by artist will insley. i’ve never heard of will insley and a quick internet search turned up very little other than the fact he was born in 1929, studied architecture, and taught at the school of visual arts at some point. image-wise there is a single paltry piece to be seen. the guggenheim show evidently represented a career long fascination with abstract architecture the totality of which insley termed the opaque civilization. in the catalog he explains that theory is a major element in the process and understanding of his work. said theories, will be willfully withheld here, however, because to be totally frank, i can’t figure out exactly what they are. see below for some pieces which make up the opaque civilization.

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i enjoy these pieces (all between 40 and 60 inches across) even without the theory they are evidently so dependent on. if history has not seen fit to make them known to me, if the internet has not become a place where they simmer and bubble and spread, then, well natural selection is at work, and who am i to stand in its way? i do like the pieces themselves though, but then i’m a theoretical philistine.

if anyone is familiar with will insley and would like to enlighten me: much obliged.

(note to mristeraitch: insley mentions -on prompting from an interviewer- that boullee was an influence and the catalog offers a little thumb of newton’s cenotaph, exterior by night.)

posted by jmorrison on 08/20 | sights & sounds - art | (13) comments | send entry