Both modern and contemporary art rely on the transgression of previous norms (whereas classic art relies on the reproduction of conventional norms, even if they happened to change slowly from generation to generation).
...the isolated genius over the crowd and the community of peers, eccentricity over following canons, innovation over the reproduction of models....
I have chosen this medium of expression [weaving] perhaps because I was attracted by a craft which is so full of rules and set procedures. When one has to depend so much on norms and regulations, one is tempted to go on and see whether it really has to be like that or whether there is not some way of bypassing what everyone expects you to do.
[quoted in Textile Art: Embroideries, Tapestries, Fabrics, Sculptures (1985), p.207].
I know my paintings are going to look a lot like the photo I'm working from...I know where I'm going to end up but I don't know the route I'm going to take. So much is embedded in the process of following that path wherever it leads, and the things you bump into, the ideas that occur to you through...the process of building a painting, are so different from the ones that you sit around and dream up....[I]f you try to preconceive everything you do and conceptualize it, you're gonna do the same thing over and over. If, however, you get busy and things occur to you in the process, you make the rules and therefore you can break them.
And a final word from Thoreau: We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.
What is it about innovative pieces that attracts you or repels you? What work of art in particular does this discussion bring to mind?
In your own artwork, do you have a clear sense of the outcome and how to get there or do you explore where the process might lead you and how insights might shift your original idea or feeling about what the piece would be?