After revisting the show in detail, Halasz concludes: "for all its conceptual flaws, [the exhibition] still offers much to see & enjoy. I can see many reasons why the show’s organizers rejected all the semi-abstract work that I miss, and why they included so many examples of experiments, however inadequate these experiments may have been purely as art. These organizers opted for breadth as opposed to depth... instead of telling the more moving & illuminating story about how so many top-notch artists at the nerve centers in Western Europe evolved from the representational to the semi-abstract and then (sometimes but not always) to the purely abstract, creating fine art all along the way."
Tamar Zinn considers the limitations and potential of painting in black and white.
Zinn writes that "painting in black and white is not the same as thinking in black and white. By painting in black and white, the artist has pared down one part of image-making -- color choice, but rather than certainty we are offered a range of possibilities. Is the blackness something concrete or is it atmospheric? Does whiteness always connote a void? Can blackness and whiteness possess many of the same qualities? And of course, labeling colors simply as 'black' or 'white' is simplistic, as there are many variations of blackness and whiteness. Although the palette is limited to black and white, the experience of seeing is complex."
David Sweet looks at the role of detail in abstract painting through the work of Robert Holyhead, Mali Morris, and Juan Usle.
Sweet writes that unlike these painters "there are plenty of current practitioners whose work, which is abstract by default, contains lots of superimposed, busy, ornamental passages, but who treat detail casually, as though it is a relatively trivial matter. In an era of high definition, however, the resolution which detail brings, whether handled intelligently or not, appears to be an increasingly important, even essential part of a contemporary pictorial strategy."
A must read article by painter Alan Gouk on the work of Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson, on view in the exhibition Mondrian, Nicholson: In Parallel at The Courtauld Gallery, London, on view through May 20, 2012.
Gouk offers an insightful analysis of the work of each artist as well as a comparison of their work, ultimately expressing a preference for Nicholson: "Do I think Nicholson's aesthetic carries greater potential for the future/present of painting? In its openness to sensuous experience and the light of the natural world, in its sublimated cursiveness (in these particular pictures), in its 'carving' of space... in its improvisory fusion of the physicality of making with the optics of planar construction, certainly."
Nelkin writes that "The exhibition explores the creative relationship between Piet Mondrian and Ben Nicholson... When Nicholson first visited Mondrian's studio in 1934 he had to rest in a café afterwards to try to take in what he had just seen – the elegant serenity of the works, the ambience of the studio and the energy of Mondrian himself. This visit marked the beginning of a fascinating friendship that lasted until Mondrian’s death."
Abstract Painting England reports on the exhibition Mondrian/de Stijl at Centre Pompidou in Paris. "The exhibition explores his commitment to painting from the early years of the twentieth century, through his ground breaking developments with De Stijl combining his ideas on Theosophy with other artists, Theo Van Doesburg and Gerrit Rietveld. They created such a strong social understanding of the role art can play, especially abstraction, in society."
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.