Reconstitution (Art)
4 Types: Transposed, Aggregate, Manifold, and Fused


by James Mann LVAM Curator


Besides taking advantage of more than a century's radical innovations, today's most progressive art is also in the process of reconstituting high art, by innovatively reclaiming the previously lost and abandoned resources of technique and content. This movement already includes more stylistic and formal variety within its single, coherent, overall esthetic--variety manifested in unlimited combinations of abstract and figurative modes--than existed in any previous period in world art history. Although bewildering in technical and formal variety, the general movement can be defined by four distinct groupings or types of work: transposed, aggregate, manifold, and fused. The four different types are not stylistic categories, but rather four different methods by which artists assemble and forge their work out of the infinitude of manners and materials available to them. 1) Transposed: a style from art history is lifted whole and introduced to depiction of the contemporary world and that world's attendant intellectual concerns. 2) Aggregate: a number of disparate modes, media, physical elements, and/or methods are jarringly juxtaposed with no accompanying effort or success in persuasively unifying the overall composition or reducing the degree of disjointedness between the separate elements. 3) Manifold: although various discrete elements of source, style, iconography, narrative, and form remain individually identifiable, a persuasive artistic logic and unity have been imparted to the new, individual work of art. 4) Fused: A number of culturally disparate elements, of thought, subject, theme, technique, etc., are endowed, united, and expressed with the arresting innovation of a single, notably original style.