The classification provides four or more codes placed on four axis (A - formalism, B - matériality, C - involvement body/mind, D - communication). These codes are positionning the artist in the art history.
A axis : FORMALISM
When looking at the work, what type of formalisation first strikes the eye? Is it more abstract or more figurative, etc ? (on a scale from more "immaterial" to more "realist").
A200 : Abstracts not constructed / informal Action Painting
from the most "Lyrical" to something aproaching handwriting, gesture as the bringing out of what is inside, a thing in its own right, or an attempt to communicate (Hans Hartung, Franz Kline, Georges Mathieu, Jean Messagier, …).
A210 : Abstracts with signs
The work as a whole remains abstract but includes (or consists entirely of): signs forming writing: writing without meaning
the sign as an abstract shape placed in the composition of the pictorial space (R.Motherwell, Giuseppe Capogrossi, Christian Dotremont, Cy Twombly, ...).
B axis : MATERIALITY
How does the materiality of what is shown come across?
(on a scale from more "immaterial" to more "real").
B180 : Materiality
in painting, but also with all other materials with the following possibilities: mixed materiality: structured / unstructured
when a work is "structured" in its "lack of structure", and vice versa (repetition of forms, signs, matter ... Viallat, Toroni, Degottex, Hantaï,...).
B190 : Materiality
in painting, but also with all other materials with the following possibilities: Structured lines / flat areas / Drawing
Strong lines bounding coloured areas, or the drawings contained within (R.Indiana, P. Stampfli, V. Adami, H. Télémaque, M. Sanejouand, Aki Kuroda,...).
Or importance of "line" in the drawing (Hans Bellmer, Pierre Klossowski, J.L.Guitard,...).
C axis : INVOLVEMENT BODY/ MIND
With what body:mind ratio does the artist enter into his work?
Classify from the most "intellectual" (e.g."Concept Art"...) to the most "physical" (e.g. "Body Art", ...).
C130 : towards the intellectual side/ the essence of things inward looking work chiefly oriented towards: l'introspective
inner landscapes, emotions, feelings (Arpad Szenes, ...), serenity (Yves Klein's "Monochromes", ...), equilibrium ("mandalas" of Augustin Lesage or Adolf Wölfli, ...), memory (Boltenski "boxes", ...).
C190 : tending towards the corporeal / the senses the work as the result of an action gestural
the work as the result of a bodily movement, chiefly a hand movement: from Jackson Pollock's "Dripping" to Georges Mathieu's "Lyrical Abstraction", L. Fontana's "perforations" to the flayed figures of V. Vélickovic.
D axis : COMMUNICATION
Does the artist have the deliberate intention to convey a message of any sort through his work?
(classified from the most "mystical" to the most "worldly").
D110 : via what is meant with various spiritual or less marked religious influences
(from Barnett Newman to Mark Rothko, from Roman Opalka to Arnulf Rainer, ...).
D130 : via what is meaningful
based on the idea that work on what symbolizes forms an intentional message in itself (for example: Daniel Dezeuze's "Stretchers", etc., etc., ...). by variations in execution
seriality, multiplication (Claude Viallat, Niele Toroni, "figurines" by Antony Gormley, ...), accumulation or compression (J. Chamberlain, Arman, César, ...), subtleties and variability of the material (Rober Ryman's "Whites"; dissolutions of "matter / life" by Roman Opalka or by On Kawara; Gilberto Zorio, ...).