"The derogatory term "finish fetish" was devised to patronize those artists, who were deemed superficial for their excessive concern with surface. But that in itself was a superficial observation: it was only if the surface was perfect, the counter-argument went, that deeper resonances in a work could be observed.
..."Finish fetish" might have been a movement of it's time but also expressed a more timeless artistic concern: the desire to create a kind of perfection.
But we know, in our relativised age, that there is no such thing. The yearning for flawlessness will always be compromised. 'Gray Column" movingly tells this story. Its otherworldliness is, after all, of the world. Its hypnotic translucence might captivate us but we are not in the presence of 2001's monolith. Its ulterior concerns are human, all too human."
- a Perfect Realization, Peter Aspden, Arts, Financial Times 9/4/11
Photo: Pair of new hand made boards by Carl Ekstrom, who freely admits his obsession with surface and finish.