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").
A510 : Forms of "Realism"
Differents ways of observing the realities of the world, from a point of view of: Photos and allied themes
as a record of reality, or a way of working on it (from H.C. Bresson to R. Mapplethorpe ou Bernd et Hilla Becher, ...). Also as materials belonging to aesthetical work (Anette Messager, Louis Jammes, Philippe Cazal, Pierre et Gilles, ...), or as part of a broader formal work (paintings and photos by Peter Klasen; drawings and photos by Jean Le Gac, ...).
A500 : Forms of "Realism"
Differents ways of observing the realities of the world, from a point of view of: "Brechtian"
"Distanciation" of figures with explicit socio-political convictions, with the aim of changing social or political realities (André Fougeron, Groupe DDP, Renato Guttuso, …), or at least "critical" of such realities (Peter Saul, Cindy Sherman, Equipo Cronica, B.Rancillac, ...).
A110 : works based on optical effects works created through lenses real light
treated pictorially, sculpturally (Takis, ...), as environment, or like any other construction material of a work (C. Cruz Diez, Dan Flavin, Kosice, Keith Sonnier, James Turell, Michel Verjux, ...).
B axis : MATERIALITY
How does the materiality of what is shown come across?
(on a scale from more "immaterial" to more "real").
B120 : Immateriality by photography (film or digital)
any "action", or representation, so long as it is made visible as a statement on any backing (cibachrome, perspex, paper, ...). Here, under B120; in fixed images (film or digital: J.M.Bustamante, Philippe Ramette, Cindy Scherman).
B240 : materials or objects in "assemblages", collages/decollages, or installations
meaningful or meaningless objects (or even offcasts of society) when they are assembled with a new spirit:
- to make something aesthetic, as with the "New realists" (Arman, Spoerri, César, …); the "Affichists" (Jiri Kolar, M. Rotella, R. Hains, ...)
- in parody as with the "Simulationnistes" (Haïm Steinbach, ...)
- in many and various other "Installations" as with well known artists (Christian Boltanski, Edward Kienholz, ...) and above all with many artists of the new generation.
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", ...).
C110 : towards the intellectual side/ the essence of things conceptual levels specific questionings
from Bruce Naumann to Daniel Buren; the "Art System" questions its own foundations or its history (C.M Mariani, Wim Delvoye, Komar et Melamid, ...).
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", ...).
C160 : tending towards the corporeal / the senses via expression with "humanity" (the passage from Life to Death)
- in a literal manner (John de Andrea, Duane Hanson, Itsvan Sandorfi, ...)
- or a symbolic manner (James Ensor, G. Rouault, F. Gruber, Zoran Music, Rebeca Stevenson, Jan Vercruysse, ...), ...
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").
D165 : tending towards the worldly "Relational Aesthetics" and the like
"installations" by Rirkrit Tiravanija, Thomas Hirschhorn, Mathieu Laurette, ...).