Parergon Moment at ZWIRNER’s

por Zugvogelblog

That of parergon/ergon is an old, appealing discussion in Art History. Kant, Hegel, Lebensztejn or Derrida to name only a few, come to my mind. What happens when parergon -the frame- becomes as important as ergon, the work? What if it becomes independent from the artwork? Or when the frame rises to its own stardom? Last Friday, a friend who deals in art took me to David Zwirner’s sumptuously austere gallery in the Upper East, which happens to be now the container -an utmost frame-, of an exhibition on abstraction. Anything can be a good reason to exhibit, and this time it is the turn of “Pure Form”, formal qualities of abstraction. Only in part, true, we had seen this in Russia much earlier, at the beginning of the century. The works made a perfect choice to enjoy: Kusama, Tillmans, Flavin, Albers…Anni Albers’ drawing, ink on paper (37,2 cm x 29,8 cm), carelessly hung by the office quarters, costs 400.000$… But, what really caught my attention was the clean-cut spiral of the staircase in the building containing the gallery and the artworks. “Free beauty”, I thought. As Kant would have put it, pulchritudo vaga, beyond the status of the exhibits.

Friday evening under Covid. Madison Avenue, New York, one of the greatest parergon on earth