Here's the thing, what is most important, most radical, most interesting, most revolutionary even, Krauss never states explicitly. It is not easy to locate - none of my profs or anyone else I have ever spoken to about the essay has ever pointed pointed out what I now believe to be the crux of the expanded field. What Rosalind Krauss, one of modern sculptures most important chroniclers was asserting (implicitly, but forcefully all the same) was the grimmest of modern truths. She was arguing, that sculpture is dead.
...the modernist past is a ruin, the logic of whose architecture we do not remotely grasp. This has not happened, in my view, because we have entered a new age... On the contrary, it is just because the ‘modernity’ which modernism prophesied has finally arrived... The intervening (and interminable) holocaust was modernization.
We know very well what sculpture is. And one of the things we know is that it is a historically bounded category and not a universal one. As is true of any other convention, sculpture has its own internal logic, its own set of rules, which, though they can be applied to a variety of situations, are not themselves open to very much change.
The new is made comfortable by being made familiar, since it is seen as having gradually evolved from the forms of the past. Historicism works on the new and different to diminish newness and mitigate difference... And we are comforted by this perception of sameness, this strategy for reducing anything foreign in either time or space, to what we already know and are.
This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing in from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.