Elwes writes that the shows ofer "two quite different perspectives" on the continued relevance of painting. Painting Now, he writes, "and its accompanying text read like a research paper on an endangered species, a clinical exercise in which the work of five disparate painters is put under the microscope to see what clues it might yield to its continued and – in Darwinian terms – surprising existence in ‘what has come to be understood as a post-medium age.’" At The Piper Gallery, he continues, curator and artist Tess Jaray "turns the Tate’s assumption on its head by saying painting needs not words (or a rear-guard action) but a more imaginative and playful approach to the medium itself. The artists she has chosen... reflect her sense that rather than being adrift in a post-medium age, ‘now it seems, all art aspires to the condition of painting’. Here the medium need no longer be the message: indeed it is the medium – paint itself – which stands to limit painting’s progress."
"Largely comprising portraits, still lifes, scaled architectural elevations and installations," Leaver-Yap notes, "McKenzie’s body of work could be formally characterised as representational painting: the expressions of an agent who has elected to speak on behalf of another party. Permission is irrelevant; technique is key. Within representational painting, seduction is most easily elicited through verisimilitude — painting tries to persuade us to perceive illusion as reality."
In an ongoing series of works, Leaver-Yap continues, McKenzie's utilizes the form of "the quodlibet — a type of trompe l’oeil involving tableaux of small and intimate objects, and that takes its name from the Latin for ‘that which pleases’... the quodlibet is a combination of consummate painterly skill and visual punning."
Emily Spicer reviews the exhibition Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists at Tate Britain, London, on view through February 9, 2014. The show features works by Tomma Abts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie, and Catherine Story.
Spicer writes that the show "brings together five contemporary artists whose paintings occupy a variety of conceptual concerns, while sharing certain leanings towards traditional practice... A quiet strangeness pervades these works, a sort of understated but powerful aesthetic connected by illusion, by the strangeness of perception and the transformative power of interpreting the world in paint. And each artist in this exhibition has a nuanced and subtle message. Formalist concerns sit alongside ideas of artistic appropriation, shifting meanings and political ideology... the true aim of this exhibition remains elusive and as subtle as the paintings themselves. However, what we can be sure of is that, right now, painting is alive and well."
Simon Ling and Chris Ofili discuss painting on the occasion of the exhibition Painting Now: Five Contemporary Artists at Tate Britain, on view from November 12 - February 9. 2014. The show features works by Tomma Abts, Gillian Carnegie, Simon Ling, Lucy McKenzie, and Catherine Story.
Ling comments: “Painting is really good at getting you close to certain kinds of things. Subtle is radical... You make a mark with paint, it holds that thing, for as long as anybody’s going to look at it. That movement [of looking] is now held in a material. You combine all those energies and you make this thing which is a living record."
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."
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.