Patrick Neal reviews 8 Painters at Danese Corey Gallery, New York, on view through March 14, 2015. The show features works by Nina Chanel Abney, Matt Bollinger, Caitlin Cherry, Joey Frank, Doron Langberg, Liz Markus, Kimo Nelson, and Jennifer Packer.
Neal notes that "it is interesting that 8 Painters, comprised of all figurative painting, and timed to run concurrently with The Forever Now, offers an alternative to the mostly abstract works at MoMA. If abstraction is favored by undiscerning speculator collectors as well as museums hoping to advance a fast-forward chronology of art history, there is still no small amount of figurative work on the scene. The abstract works in The Forever Now reveal a hodgepodge of styles, with artists picking and choosing motifs across time and space and putting them together in single works (hence the term atemporal). Image-based artists are doing much the same thing. Recurrent throughout 8 Painters are stylings on past painterly marks and movements, not so much placed in quotations as absorbed into a work’s facture... It’s a hopeful sign that the artists in [the show] demonstrate a critical distillation of influences that inform their particular sensibilities, philosophical outlooks, and relationship to materials — not making any great claims, just proceeding in a personally deliberate way."
Kohler writes that the works in the show (which include an installation and collage works) address "the theme of despair and loss... a slow moving katabasis; the dystopic descent of bottoming out, depression and loss of social standing. Robert Bly, in his book Iron John, calls this the 'Road of Ashes.' In mythology katabasis refers to the heroic descent into the Underworld. [Bollinger's] images however are firmly placed within familiar this-worldy narratives and contexts of cheap beer, homelessness chain link fences and empty lots full of rubbish."
William Eckhardt Kohler blogs about the "weekend" exhibition Mark, Wipe, Scrape, Shape at Spaceshifter - the studio of painter Sangram Majumdar.
Kohler features "11 painters, Michael Berryhill, Gideon Bok, Matt Bollinger, Katherine Bradford, Tom Burckhardt, Jackie Gendel, Amy Mahnick, Majumdar, Kyle Staver, Didier Williams and Karla Wozniak, work in a variety of idioms; perceptual, abstract, poetical, narrative and conceptual... The dominant tone of these artists' orientation is that of idiosyncratic visionaries, rolling up their sleeves and forging a personal understanding of what painting can do. What is demonstrated here is that the newness is in what each artist brings to the table as each their own brilliant self; original rather than ideological or radical."
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.