Leigh Markopoulos recaps Painting Expanded a symposium on the contemporary painting practice at California College of the Arts, San Francisco, April 13, 2013. Speakers and guests included Tom La Duke, Mary Weatherford, Keltie Ferris, Dushko Petrovich, John Zurier, and Mary Heilmann among others.
Markopoulos writes that the participants "addressed neither the specter of Rosalind Krauss invoked by the title of the day’s proceedings nor the legitimation of painting after the advent of conceptualism, paving the way instead for an exemplary range of perspectives linking painting to both life and art... the multiplicity of perspectives and practices presented argued that painting can participate in a broader discussion about art while expanding its discipline-specific history and repertoire. Acknowledging certain nagging doubts and situating them within a bigger artistic project does add up to something and can create a space—somewhere between canvas and viewer—that affords specific experiences and encounters. A painter’s agency, then, could lie in inhabiting these doubts, in multiplying and amplifying them to productive ends. It would seem also that surrendering to a process, a series of marks, or a technical exploration can constitute a valid artistic practice, one that takes a long-term approach, comprises repetition and variation, develops gradually, and aims at a greater embedment in the world through materials and work. What emerged ultimately was an exciting, richly hued portrait of a field open to possibility."
Jennifer Samet interviews painter Mary Heilmann at her Bridgehampton, New York studio.
Samet writes that Heilmann "made the radical move to become a painter (right when painting was declared dead), but her work is always object-like and idea-based. Her punk aesthetic is manifested in wild colors, fake drips, and slightly off-kilter geometries. She joins shaped canvases and designs installations that include hand-made, movable chairs. She works like a conceptual artist, executing ideas in series and repetition, based on sustained meditation. The result is a freshness and instinctual quality, in opposition to the laborious existentialism of formalist abstraction."
Rose writes: "Can one be playful and 'indisciplined' in a way disciplined enough to justify the deep importance that the project of abstraction always wanted to claim? The point is brought into sharp relief by the current exhibition of Mary Heilmann's work at Hauser & Wirth. Heilmann plays off these two sides, as she probes deep affectivity alongside the kind of comic seriousness that abstract art has often found itself turning towards."
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.