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Seeing an object in real space may not be a very immediate experience. Aspects are experience; the whole is assumed or constructed. Yet it is the presumption that the constructed "thing" is more real than the illusory and changing aspects afforded by varying perspective views and illumination. We have no apprehension of the totality of an object other than what has been constructed from incidental views under various conditions. Yet this process of "building" the object from immediate sense data is  homogenous: there is no point in the process where any conditions of light or perspective indicate a realm of existence different from that indicated by other views under other conditions. The presumption of constancy and consistency makes it possible to speak of "illusionism" at all. It is considered the less than general condition. In fact, illusionism in the seeing of objects is suppressed to an incidental factor.

Structures. Such work is often related to other focuses but further, or more strongly, emphasizes its "reasons" for parts, inflections, or other variables. The didacticism of projected systems or added information beyond the physical existence of the work is either explicit or implicit. Sets, series, modules, permutations, or other simple systems are often made use of. Such work often transcends its didacticism to become rigorous. Sometimes there is an puritanical scepticism of the physical in it. The lesser work is often start and austere, rationalistic and insecure.

While most advanced three-dimensional work shares certain premises, distinctions can be made between works. Certain ambitions and intentions vary and can be named. Terms indicating tendencies can be attempted on the basis of these different aims. While the terms arrived at do not constitute classes of objects which are exclusive of each other, they locate distinct focuses.

Objects. Generally small in scale, definitively object-like, potentially handleable, often intimate. Most have high finish and emphasize surface. Those which are monistic or structurally undivided set up internal relations through juxtapositions of materials or sometimes by high reflectiveness incorporating part of the surroundings; sometimes by transparency doing the same thing more literally. Those which are structurally divided often make use of modules or units. Some of these — especially wall-hung works — maintain some pictorial sensibilities: besides making actual the sumptuous physicality which painting could only indicate, there is often a kind of pictorial figure-ground organization. But unlike painting, the shape becomes an actual object against the equally actual wall or ground. Deeply grounded in, and confident of the physical, these objects make great use of the traditional range of plastic values: light, shadow, rhythms, pulses, negative spaces, positive forms, etc. The lesser works often read as a kind of candy box art — new containers for an industrial sensuality reminiscent of the Bauhaus sensibility for refined objects of clean order and high finish. Barbara Rose has noted in her catalog, A New Esthetic (Washington Gallery of Modern Art, May, 1967), that such objects might constitute a class  of forms amounting to a new convention which is not sculptural in intent, but rather more like the emergence of a rich minor art — much as stained glass and mosaics differed from the conventions of painting. When often unambitious or indulgently focused on surface, the physical presence of these objects is generally strong. They coruscate with the minor brilliance of the "objet d'art."

The trouble with painting is not its inescapable illusionism per se. But this inherent illusionism brings with it a non-actual elusiveness or indeterminate allusiveness. The mode has become antique. Specifically, what is antique about it is the divisiveness of experience which marks on a flat surface elicit. There are obvious cultural and historical reasons why this happens. For a long while the duality of thing and allusion sustained itself under the force of profuse organizational innovations within the work itself. But it has worn thin and its premises cease to convince. Duality of experience is not direct enough. That which has ambiguity built into it is not acceptable to an empirical and pragmatic outlook. That the mode itself — rather than lagging quality — is in default seems to be shown by the fact that some of the best painting today does not bother to emphasize actuality or literalness through shaping of the support.

At the extreme end of the size range are works on a monumental scale. Often these have a quasi-architectural focus; they can be  walked through or looked up at. Some are simple in form but most are baroque in feeling beneath a certain superficial somberness. They share a romantic attitude of domination and burdening impressiveness. They often seem to loom with a certain humanitarian sentimentality.