A 1971 statement
by Hamilton testifies to the complexity of his approach to art-making and—because of the ideas within it—to the time we will need to wholly appreciate his contributions to art history:
A work of art is a vehicle for the transmission of information concerning the mental, or physical, activity of an artist.
The vehicle, or medium, need not transmit information (a message)—it can stand as a symbol for a message.
The work of art may be structured or not–it can be a concept.
An artist can propose that his work of art shall be structured by someone other than the artist—or it can be structured by chance.
Structures (and non-structures) may be characterized by a style (or non-style).
The style of a structured (or unstructured) message (or symbolic non-message) can serve to identify the individuality of an artist.
Art can be structured in the style of another artist, either in sincere emulation or as ironic parody.
A work of art is evidence that an artist has proposed a work of art.
An eyewitness account is evidence that an artist has proposed a work of art. But documentary evidence (i.e. a photograph) is more conclusive.
A painting is documentary evidence that an artist has proposed a work of art.