Altoon Sultan vists two exhibitions of abstract painting: Painting Advanced at Edward Thorp Gallery (through April 20) and Andrew Masullo at Mary Boone Gallery (through April 27, 2013).
The two shows, Sultan writes, "got me thinking about how important the quality of paint was to me: paint itself, how it looks, how it works, how each artist uses it." In the work of Masullo, she finds that "the images are enchanting, but for me the love of paint is missing," while the five painters work on view at Edward Thorp each have "a very different approach to image and materials, each with a rich and sensuous use of paint."
Brian Fee reviews the exhibition Painting Advanced at Edward Thorp Gallery, New York, on view through April 20, 2013. The show features paintings by Andrea Belag, Jim Lee, Rachel Malin, Andrew Spence, and Gary Stephan.
The gallery press explains that the exhibition "addresses the ever-expanding range of complexity in recent abstract painting... [and seeks] to uncover the energies that painting still possesses." Fee concurs, noting that "the five assembled artists... are continually reworking the language of abstract painting, even within their own evolving styles."
Phong Bui interviews painter Gary Stephan on the occasion of the exhibition The Story of What Happens at devening projects + editions, Chicago, on view through October 6, 2012.
Stephan notes: "In the last few years, what I’ve done, which thrills me, is return to the structure that affirms the object as a way to cue the viewer, let the viewer know that we are now going to rupture it. I recently said to a studio assistant of mine, you know the problem with abstraction is, if I paint a hand, and I paint it without a thumb, everyone knows because they have expectations about hands. But, if you paint a piece of geometry and you take part of it off, nobody cares because they have no expectations. What I needed to do with these was set up something that had expectations so that then when you violated the expectations you had something that people could compare it to."
After visiting painter Gary Stephan's studio, John Yau muses on Stephan's new work.
Yau writes: "Gary Stephan has moved into a place where he is operating without a safety net, where there is no justification or theory that supports what he does, or even the move he makes in a particular work, but there it is, looking back at you. I think that moment where the work reaches a state of otherness is one to be sought after — where you are no longer speaking to it, but it is speaking to you, and you may not even understand what it is saying."
Gary Stephan discusses his work with Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy.
Stephan comments: "What I want to do is set up a set of parameters that let me to do things and then hopefully get a picture, that at the end, is pretty unexpected… I'll very often go in with a plan. I'll have a vague notion of what's going to happen. It rarely works out that way, so, it's a fool's protection. So, what very often happens is that the thing will take on a life of its own."
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.