Ljubljana, 1998

Fig. 1: Composition, 1998

For me, graphic art is a form of art in which I deal with the principles of artistic thought more than anywhere else. I mostly study approach, but only to an extent where this is exactly defined and based on a conscious use of artistic procedures and artistic notions. This does not significantly limit the extent of artistic research. I can reduce all clear and correct artistic procedures down to exactly defined artistic procedures. The possibility of translating into exactly defined procedures is a criterion of clarity. An exactly defined approach entails an assumption expressed as (artistic) language. If I attach great significance to the result of this approach, I clarify the approach »by drawing in my mind« or even on paper. It is true that an approach can be explored only indirectly, in its objectified form. But the tool which turns an approach into a topic of objective research is (artistic) language: only a linguistically expressed approach is a completely clear approach. Of all forms of exploration, graphic art is in my mind the most appropriate for the research of the artistic/logical side of an approach or an approach that focuses on what is artistically correct. (I think that it is not entirely inappropriate if I quote an old definition of logic, according to which logic is a science about the ways of correct thinking.) Since a graphic record conserves my approaches (Stane Bernik: »I flatten black lines to freeze the lie.«), I can at any time resume the exploration of approaches. My exploration invariably resembles objective research.

In a simplified way, an approach given form in an image is called composition building. Composition—building is a procedure in which format is translated into composition. The principles of composition—building cannot be defined only for individual concrete examples; they must speak about the possibility of deriving a specific composition from a specific format. I build the general formulations of my principles with the help of the composition format. These formulations are in fact schemes that express the common features of many different formats. I speak about the features of the format with the help of artistic variables. I define artistic variables simply with the relationships between shapes or forms that do not have a specific meaning. The correctness of this principle is based on the fact that any replacement of an artistic variable in a given (adopted) format, which verifies or implements a certain form by turning it into a composition, invariably verifies the composition in other similar formats. To avoid the dependence of composition—building principles on concrete data, I must exclude from the building of a composition any artistic elements that mark definite objects. Consequently, only those purified elements remain in formats, which I call logical (they are very close to artistic elements). The main characteristic of these logical elements is that they do not refer to any specific knowledge or thought which I might possess: they emerge regardless of what I am thinking. In a sense, I understand art as the exploration of this kind of universal elements.

The logical composition of the format or the logical result of the format is the name I give to the composition of a format containing only logical elements. Through art I explore the logical structure and formulate the principles of its correctness only as far as this depends exclusively on the artistic feature of the format, on its invisible inherent (although perceptible) structure. The principles of the correct logical approach are formulated as general schemes in which merely the logic of the format’s composition is featured.

In case you have not noticed: I have been speaking about formal logic.

Fig. 2: Composition, 1988