By Kate Crehan
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Extra info for Community Art: An Anthropological Perspective
Patterns of Intention approaches individual paintings as solutions to problems. Adopting this approach, we can see the Free Form Project as a problem Goodrich, Ives and Wheeler-Early had set themselves. Art Inside and Outside the Gallery 23 ‘Charge’ and ‘Brief’ are Baxandall’s terms for the essential elements that define the problem a particular painting represents for its painter. The Charge is the broad task that the artist is set (whether artists set this themselves or are commissioned); the Brief is the specifics into which the Charge translates in a given context.
The Art World and Common Sense The art world has enormous power; it defines what counts as art, what does not and what makes some art good and some bad. Danto has coined the nice term ‘the curatoriat’ to refer to those in the art world whose pronouncements on art matters are considered authoritative (Danto 1997: 181). Not that this world is in any sense monolithic, with a single definition of what counts as art or what makes art good. The art world can accommodate many different and indeed conflicting and contradictory accounts of what constitutes art, as well as many different criteria by which to distinguish good from bad artworks.
Snowdon continued to participate in Visual Systems for a year or so, but, as Goodrich and Ives remember it, he was never a very committed presence, and, since I was not able to talk to him—he died some years ago—he does not feature in my account. It was not until a few years later that the name of the organization was formally changed to Free Form, but, given the continuity of the underlying aspiration of what I have termed the Free Form Project, for the sake of clarity I use this name for the Project even when talking about the Visual Systems years.