Art Talk: What Does "LOVE" Have To Do With It?

Friday, September 27, 2013

There is no lack of paintings that show mountains or human figures. What's in this week? Paintings with words.

Two new major exhibitions in New York are examples of what became known as the text-and-image school of art. American artist Robert Indiana's show at the Whitney Museum consists mostly of pop-art paintings from the 1960s inscribed with words like "love," "eat," "die" and "hug." And Belgian artist Rene Magritte's show at the Museum of Modern Art includes his best-known painting: the one of a pipe floating above the sentence "This is not a pipe."

WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon said both Indiana and Magritte were infatuated with words, and used them very differently. "You can say Indiana used words to express meaning, whereas Magritte, the surrealist, used words in his art to impede meaning," she said.

Solomon said if she were to use words in a painting, she would choose,  "Be nice," which is her motto as a person and as a critic. Which word/words would you pick? Leave your comment below.

To listen to the whole interview with Solomon, and hear which words Soterios Johnson would pick, click on the audio link above.


Courtesy of the Whitney Museum
Robert Indiana, The Demuth American Dream #5, 1963
Courtesy of the Whitney Museum
Robert Indiana, The Triumph of Tira, 1960-61
Courtesy of the Whitney Museum
Robert Indiana, The Black Diamond American Dream #2, 1962
Courtesy of the Whitney Museum
Robert Indiana, Mother and Father, 1963-66
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art
René Magritte (Belgium, 1898-1967). La trahison des images (Ceci n’est pas une pipe) (The Treachery of Images [This is Not a Pipe]). 1929.
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art
René Magritte (Belgian, 1898–1967). La clef des songes (The Interpretation of Dreams). 1935.
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art
René Magritte (Belgium, 1898-1967). Le Palais de rideaux, III (The Palace of Curtains, III). 1928-29.


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Comments [4]

Shadeed Ahmad

Depending on the person, love is experienced most passionately in the north or south of their being. To really "understand" art expressing love, a more northern appreciation is optimum.

Sep. 28 2013 03:43 AM
Anthony Pisciotta

my two words would be


Sep. 27 2013 09:27 PM
Sally Patt from Westchester

My word on a painting would be "help!!!."

Sep. 27 2013 10:50 AM
Victoria Booth from Brooklyn NY

Depressingly Awesome

Sep. 27 2013 08:38 AM

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