John Yau examines Clement Greenberg's legacy in the context of contemporary art focusing on "provisional" and "casual" painting.
Yau writes: "It seems to me that the current situation is not about available options... which span a wide range of possibilities, or about a critic channeling Greenberg’s legacy and identifying the next viable tendency in art. Rather, it revolves around one fundamental question: how does an individual go about making work when a significant part of the art world believes that painting and drawing are dead? Or, to put it another way: after the death of the author, how does an individual reinstate the mantle of authorship and take responsibility for what he or she makes?"
David Plante interviews Rosalind E. Krauss. The topics Krauss discusses include her initial interest in art, cultivated by visits to the National Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection, and her belief that the artist must strive to extend the nature of the medium in which she works. Regarding the latter, Krauss comments: "Greenberg’s position on Modernist painting is that a work of art essentially secures its meaning by specifying its medium and by essentially securing something new about the nature of the medium, and this seems to me to be irrefutable. In most work that we know and respect, particularly abstract art which has broken all kinds of links with the observed world, and which could be said to be about the nature of the medium itself– the two dimensional canvas, the colours, the drawing, the frame of the canvas—the medium is absolutely essential – is crucial — in terms of my appreciation of a work of art." "I think what I’m more interested in is stumbling on work that for one reason or another I recognise as genuine and then I try to understand where it comes from and what it is that secures the notion of it as authentic... Each individual artist presents to me a different problem."
On the occasion of the exhibitions A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance at Tate Modern (through April 1) and Explosion! The Legacy of Jackson Pollock at the Fundació Joan Miró (through Feb 24), Stephen Moonie considers the history of "painting and performance in relation to one another." He asserts that "it is evident that painting can no longer be taken for granted: instead it operates within an expanded field across and between media."
He concludes: "What is clear... is that performance and painting are closely intertwined, and that the relationship between the two works both ways: painting is not only a pathway into performance, but that many aspects of performance equally lead back into painting..."
To introduce his article on the "the visual anxiety that American painters feel when confronted with the European visual traditions," Mark Stone posts a revealing (and poignant) video of Clement Greenberg discussing Jackson Pollock's anxiety about whether his all-over drip technique was really "Painting."
Stone proposes that Pollock's inner-struggle is one that continues to affect contemporary American painters. He writes that Greenberg "makes clear that Pollock wanted to return to the Impressionists, to learn from them. And for me this points to our own continuing conundrum about painting. Pollock wanted to learn about painterly vision in Nature, about the way the Impressionists would see and paint through time instead of seeing and painting in time – visual culture versus experiential culture."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.