I’ve been reading ‘Closure – A story of everything’ by Hilary Lawson. In may just gone I attended philosophy sessions at The Globe at Hay, the institute of art and ideas called How the lights gets in; I heard Hilary talk about Openness and Closure and other speakers including Ruth Levitas, AC Grayling, Kenan Malik, Alex Prichard and others but I was most intrigued to follow up Hilary ideas (who also turns out to be behind the philosophy festival itself) and read his ideas about contemporary painting. I like the following quote because it somehow matches up with my in-painting-process of leaving myself on the edge at the end of a painting like his idea of something that cannot come to rest – as if in permanent struggle or striving for something slightly out of reach – which is also one reason why I like to symbolically use boxers.
‘The attempt to avoid closure cannot therefore simply abandon closure altogether, but requires the suggestion of closure: the offer of closure that is then denied. If insight alone were the defining characteristic of art it would apply equally to the scientist; what distinguishes the artist is the offer of closure that cannot come to rest and so cannot be completed…. The successful artist must constantly escape closure, by eschewing familiar categories or by undermining them. It is for this reason that art is constantly on the move, for the boundary of cultural space is itself a product of the immediate past. A work that today escapes closure may if repeated tomorrow be realised as material in a routine manner’.