Applause as Music, Audience as Maleable Medium

If Michael Fried argues, in “Art and Objecthood” (1967), that the very best abstract formalist paintings and sculptures of the day are absolutely authoritative, in their own right and on their own terms, and stand in no need whatsoever of public approval or applause, . . .

Morris Louis
#11 (1961)

Jules Olitski
Tin Lizzie Green (1964)

Frank Stella
Black Series II (1967)

Sir Anthony Caro
Sculpture 2 (1962)

. . . what, then, would Fried want us to make of the ‘music’ of John Cage, Gyorgy Ligeti and Steve Reich?



And, further, what would Fried want us to think of ‘sculptures’ such as those of Richard Serra?

Richard Serra
Tilted Arc (1981)

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