This book contains three case studies on very different artists, analyzing their work through their respective historical contexts: the writer Francis Ponge (1899–1988) and his seminal text on Jean Fautrier's “Hostage Paintings” from 1943; visual artist Jack Whitten's (1939–2018) Memorial Paintings and Banksy's notorious auction stunt Love is in the Bin from 2018.
Examining all three artistic propositions from a value-theoretical point of view, Graw finds Ponge's text on Fautrier to be “doubly materialist” insofar as it (seemingly) reveals its own material conditions while simultaneously grasping the specific materiality of Fautrier's paintings; suggests that the indications of value in Whitten's painting to be more indirect; and reveals Banksy's value reflections to have a very different generational thrust.
Gaw shows that Ponge's text is full of value-reflexive insights but that Ponge himself is an ambivalent figure. She finds that the dedication of Whitten's paintings inscribes them in a system of exchange. And, finally, the deliberate aesthetic meagerness of Banksy's Love Is in the Bin points to an emptiness at the heart of value.
Institut für Kunstkritik series