While the claim of such studies to describe a "natural" system of expression operating outside of conventional systems of signs was challenged as early as 1956 by Ernst Gombrich,33 Hejduk has turned in recent projects, like the House of the Quadruplets in Berlin, to using the effects of contraction and tension in steep roofs, small openings, repeated projections, and compressed interstitial spaces. Hejduk's use is neither outside of conventions nor independent of formal structures, but is rather in agreement with them; he does not aim to determine meaning scientifically and theoretically, but instead problcmatizes such presumptions.
8. Subject: Perception and Contemplation
In Mask of Medusa, Hejduk could hardly be more explicit about the ways in which in the work of his early period, "Frame 1--1947-1954," a perceiving, feeling, and imagining subject was inscribed. Including his abstract characterizations of Aesop's Fables, rustic grottos, surrealist landscapes for the dead, animated pavilions for a country fair or a zoological park, and the evocative and emotive architectural abstractions of his Italian sketches. That he considered these of consequence for his later work is signaled by the insertion of sketches for the Berlin Masque at the end of this "frame."
33. See Ernst Gombrich, Art and illusion : A Study in the Psycbology of Pictorial Representation (1956) (Princeton : Princeton University Press, 1969), especially chapter 11 : "From Representation to Expression." Gombrich continued his critique in Meditations on a Hobby Horse, and Other Essays on the Theory of Art (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1963), especially the chapter "Expression and Communication."