The Grid

With regard to the advent of the grid in twentieth-century art, there is the need to think etiologically rather than historically.
Certain conditions combined to precipitate the grid into a position of aesthetic pre-eminence. We can speak of what those things
are and how they come together throughout the nineteenth century and then spot the moment of chemical combination,
as it were, in the early decades of the twentieth. But once the grid appears it seems quite resistant to change. The mature
careers of Mondrian or Albers are examples of this. No one would characterize the course of decade after decade of their later
work as developmental. But by depriving their world of development, one is obviously not depriving it of quality. There is no
necessary connection between good art and change, no matter how conditioned we may be to think that there is. Indeed,
as we have a more and more extended experience of the grid, we have discovered that one of the most modernist things about
it is its capacity to serve as a paradigm or model for the anti-developmental, the anti-narrative, the anti-historical.

Rosalind E. Krauss – Grids (from The Originality of the Avant-Garde and Other Modernist Myths, p. 22)

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