As an austere non-image belonging to the landmark series executed in the early 1970s, The Illustration of Art achieves a new contemporary aesthetic. Conceived in 1971 during a pivotal residency in New York granted by a Guggenheim Fellowship, the work conflates intellectual interests as distinct as astronomy, minimalism, and the pursuit of a 'pure art of ideas'. The vast commercialization of art during this period and its ultimate commodification by the emergence of the contemporary art market is made ironically evident in the self-serving referential system implied by the American dollar sign in this darkly humorous painting. Suspended in mid-air, this universal sign adopts critical relevance when examined against the precepts of a rising institutionalized art economy.
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