P. Lemarquis reviews works by Claude Rutault at Galerie Perrotin, New York, on view through January 3, 2015.
Lemarquis notes that "Rutault, a painter who does not paint his own pieces, or even take part in overseeing the construction of the pieces, operates as an instigator of ideas and sets of rules that translate into a full concept, and eventually a final piece. Rutault works by giving out what he calls 'de-finition/methods' that the gallery or institution, the “charge-taker”, will create and build, or “actualize” as he likes to say, making the installation staff an integral part of the work. These employees impact the work in multiple ways as they are also in charge of choosing the color of the work, relying in part on their own aesthetic appreciation. This is in opposition to the artist operating as the finishing hand, that signs the work off even in cases where he didn’t actually make the work himself. The intricate set of rules put the current “charge-taker” of the work in a position of responsibility, rarely seen in relation to the making of the art itself."
Deborah Oropallo reflects on Marcel Duchamp's Network of Stoppages (1914) in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Oropallo remarks that it "was the first painting I had ever seen that wasn’t based on representation, abstraction or observation. It was the very first conceptual painting I had ever encountered, and it engaged an entirely different thought process that I had never considered before but felt immediately drawn to. His process involved a more systematic approach to painting yet with an element of chance and irreverence to it... I always look for ways to make the process itself more random, less destination and more encounter: the chance Duchamp spoke of. The element of surprise, like a magician’s puff of smoke, is a great thing in art and I love it every time I feel it."
Sharon Butler blogs about the conceptual painter Michael Krebber whose work was recently on view at Maureen Paley, London.
Butler's post includes excerpts from an interview with Krebber about his painting practice. Asked about exploring painting as a filter or program, Krebber comments that "painting, as well as any other activity, runs as an application that regularly and constantly changes, from for one person communicating with himself, to 2 people or more. Like society, here the programs runs wild, everyone might be in a different program, either actively or passively..."
Sara De Chiara reviews the exhibition Andrew Dadson: Suburban Suprematism at Galleria Franco Noero, Turin, on view through October 26, 2013.
De Chiara writes that Dadson’s paintings "can be admired from a frontal perspective, but also from a three-quarter view, where we become aware of the complex process that led to their material thickness. This is especially true of the Re-stretch series, a small series of paintings which can be seen to consist of all the range of colors of the rainbow. Frontally, we perceive only a white square that references a frame, smaller than the canvas, delimited by an accumulation of color noticeably thicker at the edges. All of this is then surrounded by the rough linen canvas. In the large-format paintings, the same tension between inside and outside is created by the color spreading out towards the edges, exceeding the limits of the painting space. In both cases, we see a blurring of the boundary between the fictional space of representation and reality."
Biggs and Collings comment: "At the moment in art culture, any proposal to do with “form” is considered bad. As something transcendent, it is automatically linked with considerations of ideology and hegemony, and is seen as an illusion that allows the viewer to remain blind to social realities. Hot contemporary art is interested in plugging in directly to those, and in this kind of art, form can be anything so long as it is explicable in terms of that connection. We, on the other hand, believe that plugging-in to social realities is often an illusion. We think institutional critique, for example, has become formulaic. We address this problem in the textual component of our show in Fort Worth. Our paintings don’t avoid difficult issues but neither do they spell them out as directly readable propaganda. We look at the material and the tangible. Things have to work: the colour has to be objective, it has to be meaningful on colour terms – the same with shape, line, tone – all the elements we use. We attack mystification ruthlessly. If there are comfortable illusions, we see our work as a blow against them."
Christopher Joy and Zachary Keeting interview artist Anna Plesset about her exhibition A Still Life at UNT/TLED, NY, on view through February 24, 2013.
In work that effortlessly melds painting, sculpture, and installation through multiple instances of trompe l'oeil, Plesset investigates shifting notions of observation, memory and history. Inspired by her discovery of the American Impressionist painter Lilla Cabot Perry (during a residency in a studio once inhabited by Perry) Plesset remarks that the exhibition is a "reconstitution of three different histories: the presumed history of Lilla Cabot Perry, my own history there [in the studio] and the history that we're told or not told."
Paul Corio reviews the exhibitions Cellblock I and Cellblock II: An Essay In Exhibition Form at Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York. The two-part show, curated by Robert Hobbs, is on view through February 2, 2013. Together the shows feature a large group of artists including: Alice Aycock, Peter Halley, Robert Motherwell, Sterling Ruby, Robert Smithson, and Kelley Walker.
Corio writes that three works in the show by Robert Motherwell "present an excellent place from which to begin a fresh look into abstraction as an entity that’s not strictly literal and reductive. Motherwell was an artist who was especially resistant to the idea of making a picture devoid of external references, and even when he turned to geometric abstraction, arguably the most aggressively abstract genre of painting, the pictures still talked about issues outside of their own existence and materiality..."
Sharon Butler blogs about the exhibition Love curated by Stephen Truax and presented by Art Blog Art Blog, on view at One River Gallery, Englewood, NJ, through December 21, 2012.
Love, featuring work by a diverse group of Brooklyn painters, celebrates the emotional attachment both painters and conceptual artists have for the medium, a 'love' that has returned painting to the "forefront of innovation in visual art." Butler writes that curator "Truax says the artists he has selected have 'a romantic and emotional engagement with painting and its history,' At the end of his essay, he even suggests that Conceptual artists are adopting painting as a strategy, too... Believing that all painting, no matter how seemingly intuitive, has conceptual underpinnings, Truax makes a case that the old saw "dumb like a painter" no longer applies."
Yau writes: "At his best, Burckhardt is able embrace both the abstract and the representational is such that we must read the paintings in different, often contradictory ways without ever reaching a conclusion.... By establishing contradictory possibilities, Burckhardt echoes both his love of, and disbelief in, painting. He refuses to be either nostalgic or cynical."
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.