Art excludes the unnecessary. Frank Stella has found it necessary to paint stripes. There is nothing else in his painting. Frank Stella is not interested in expression or sensitivity. He is interested in the necessities of painting. Symbols are counters passed among people. Frank Stella's painting is not symbolic. His stripes are the paths of brush on canvas. These paths lead only into painting.
Something I realized after reading Friedman's non-statement was that artist statements are traps - viral mindworms akin to earworms. My friends and I would spend days at a time writing and rewriting these things, passing them around, asking for input, editing sentences over and over in order to strike exactly the right tone, allude to the smartest theories, contextualize our work within the most compelling contemporary work - on and fucking on. All in an effort to make them sound like the ones we picked up in the galleries. The nightmare was that they all ended up sounding drearily the same.