Coombs writes that performance art "can be an exhausting medium with little room for the sort of contemplation possible in front of a painting. The form itself is ephemeral and disappears as soon as the performance is over and often the only evidence that such a thing ever happened is through a photograph or a film... This is ironic given that performance art is a continuation, and some might say completion, of the modernist drive towards actuality. It articulates its form through a real body, a real presence, and gives its subjects, which are often imbued with political urgency, a condition of actual being. The disadvantage with it is that, as with events in real life, it is over so very quickly, and often we encounter it most readily through the mediated form of photography or film, a translation of actuality into a fiction. Painting, in comparison, seems embarrassingly immediate."
David Carrier reviews the exhibition A Visual Essay on Gutai at Hauser & Wirth, New York, on view through October 27, 2012.
Carrier writes: "Nowadays any history of contemporary art has to be a worldwide history, looking at the contributions from every culture. It’s astonishing to look back forty-some years and find serious commentators like Michael Fried writing as if the future of painting depended just upon a few New York artists. This exhibition is a salutary reminder that historians of modernism need to expand their range of examples. Thanks to Pollock’s inspiration, the Gutai worked out quite independently in their own country something like the developments of abstraction, which took place in New York."
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.