Beyond Resemblance: Abstract Art in the Age of Global Conceptualism by Robert Linsley
Art today may be truly global, but everywhere in the world it has the same character. It is saturated with statements, meanings and branded images that dominate both art galleries and artist’s work. Everywhere there is a need for a clear space in which people can stop and understand things for themselves without being barraged by voices explaining the meaning of what they see. Abstract art is a tool to help people find a perspective on the increasing chaos around them, not just an empty commodity to be collected and traded by the immensely wealthy.
In this first critique of global "conceptual," agenda-driven art, the dominant mode in the art world today, Robert Linsley shows how the abstract art of the last fifty years can offer us new life experiences that are rich and full. He explains how abstraction is a response to the world we live in, one that deliberately avoids moralizing, explanation or overt polemic. He champions the work of lesser-known but important artists from India, China and Latin America, as well as more familiar names from around the globe, and treats their work with equal seriousness. Essential reading for artists, art lovers and art historians, Beyond Resemblance shows how abstract art makes sense of our troubled times and how it has a future.
Robert Linsley influenced many artists in Kitchener-Waterloo, not least when he taught at the University of Waterloo from 2001 to 2006 after spending many years in Vancouver. He continued to live and work in KW until his untimely death in 2017. His paintings are in the permanent collections of numerous Canadian public institutions.