Robert C. Morgan reviews Morris Louis: Veils at Mnuchin Gallery, New York, on view through October 18, 2014.
Morgan writes: "... here in this revisited exhibition, the viewer may once again establish an interactive dialogue (in the nearly archaic terms of 'an aesthetic experience'), as viewers become the subject in relation to the object of these paintings. During the course of this encounter this delicate, yet forceful visual interaction may offer the viewer a form of transference whereby the subject and object reverse momentary, implying a moment of transcendence, a minor stretch of infinity given entirely to color and the spatiality that contains it. This experiential quality is held in suspension within the interior structure of the Veils. They are paintings given to gravity, but also capable of iterating a set of conduits as if these translucent drapes were merging the viscous liquor of poured paint occurring in a timely manner as the light within the consummate form to be begins to settle into place."
Schjeldahl concludes: "Color-field climaxed a modern ambition to expunge narrative content from painting. You were meant to be alone—“autonomous” was a byword—in wordless communion with art, as with a sunset. But art, unlike nature, requires someone to perform an act of will, and where there’s a mind directing a hand there’s a story. If the story is excluded from a picture, it will reconstitute around it as art criticism, which provides a set of thoughts for the reasons that, as you look, you should abandon thinking. That isn’t fair to individual aesthetic experience, which may find drama in abstraction and transport in realism. It also leaves out of account the worldly circumstances that impel and reward changes in art. Those turned out, by the end of the sixties, to endorse almost anything but more color-field. Color-field paintings are period artifacts, some of them lastingly enjoyable, of a peculiar presumption."
Joanne Mattera posts an extensive overview of abstract painting on view at the 2013 Miami Art Fairs.
Mattera's selections from among the "thousands of paintings at the fairs" includes works by Agathe de Bailliencourt, Agnes Martin, Alex Hubbard, Amy Feldman, Anke Weyer, Anne Truitt, Chris Martin, Craig Taylor, Deanna Lee, Enoc Perez, Federico Cattaneo, Gabriel Hartley, Georg Baselitz, Grace Hartigan, Günther Förg, Jaq Chartier, Joan Mitchell, Jon Pestoni, Joshua Aster, Keltie Ferris, Louise Fishman, Melissa Brown, Morris Louis, Norbert Prangenberg, Per Kirkeby, Polly Apfelbaum, Sachin Kaeley, Sam Gilliam, Shaun O'Dell, Theaster Gates, and Todd Kelly.
On the occasion of the exhibitions A Bigger Splash: Painting after Performance at Tate Modern (through April 1) and Explosion! The Legacy of Jackson Pollock at the Fundació Joan Miró (through Feb 24), Stephen Moonie considers the history of "painting and performance in relation to one another." He asserts that "it is evident that painting can no longer be taken for granted: instead it operates within an expanded field across and between media."
He concludes: "What is clear... is that performance and painting are closely intertwined, and that the relationship between the two works both ways: painting is not only a pathway into performance, but that many aspects of performance equally lead back into painting..."
Alan Shipway takes a fresh look at the paintings of Morris Louis.
Shipway writes that "Louis' mature painting evolved over the affluent years of Eisenhower's America, into the Kennedy era, and there is something undeniably optimistic about his pure colour, the sheer physical expanse of his paintings. But they transcend American materialism, or formalism for that matter: Louis' optimism simply belongs to the artist sensing the possibilities of his own art, opening out before him."
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.