How to Frame Serial Art

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Most artworks—or at least most among those standardly subject to philosophical scrutiny—appear to be singular, stand-alone works. However, some artworks (indeed, perhaps a good many) are by contrast best viewed in terms of some larger grouping or ordering of artworks. i.e., as a series. The operative art-theoretic notion of series in which I am interested here is that of an individual and distinct artwork that is itself non-trivially composed of a non-trivial sequence of artworks (e.g., Walter de Maria’s Statement Series, Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors)—as opposed to an art-historically informative or art critically productive thematically, stylistically, or formally unified ordering or grouping of individual and distinct artworks within an artist’s larger body of work (e.g., Kiki Smith’s Blue Print series, Dan Flavin’s Monuments to V. Tatlin series, Jeff Koons’ Made in Heaven series, Robert Rauschenberg’s Tribute 21 series). Given this, my aim is simply to sketch a minimal descriptive and classificatory framework for serial art within which certain informative distinctions may be made and further philosophical enquiry may productively take place.
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