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..."
Perl writes that the press materials refer to "abstraction as 'a painting tradition that was once seen as essentially reductive' and 'monolithic and doctrinaire' - but has 'now become expansive.' In what sense were seminal abstract artists such as Kandinsky or de Kooning ever reductive? And what is more reductive than Warhol’s silly attempt at an all-over abstract painting included in this show, the bewilderingly boring 35-foot expanse of army surplus patterning entitled Camouflage? ...There is nothing in this show - neither the labyrinthine spatial visions of Julie Mehretu nor the impacted collage surfaces of Mark Bradford - that doesn’t have its origins in abstract painting long before Warhol got to work with his silkscreens."
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.