Westfall writes: "Krushenick's work is too Pop for the abstract purists and too abstract for Pop's populism. Maybe that's why it doesn't look dated in the least... Krushenick's paintings are akin to representation in the way they expose and tie their own perceptual operations to their thingness, but the works never become something we're sure we know. Instead, they twist and crease, morph into tooth, claw and lightning bolt, and resolve back into abstract patterns in a prolonged instant-constantly open, like all signs, to both the rules and vagaries of interpretation."
Bloch writes: "The 15 paintings, collages and objects borrowed from private collections for this exhibit, including four from Jasper Johns, show us just enough of that critical moment of Rauschenberg’s life to manifest a first hand experience of what it must have felt like to be bursting at the seams in the right place at the right time when, in his late 20s, he moved rapidly from one breathtaking innovation to another, setting the stage for his reputation to ripple out from this dusty downtown studio as a risk-taking challenger to the status quo. He was riding the waves that were churning in his own restless soul and the rough-hewn creative bounty here has a palpable excitement emanating from within the stillness of the industrial paint, paper scraps and found objects now living between the walls of this gallery, five and a half miles from where the work was originally created."
Goodrich writes: "Museumgoers will debate Polke’s achievement. Does it represent a savvy assessment of — and a necessary alienation from — the zeitgeist of postwar Germany, and contemporary western culture in general? There’s no doubt that there’s something striking at the core of his lifework. It resonates with a peculiar, plangent disaffection. It bristles, tirelessly, with pointed references — the points so multiplied and layered that the viewer is carried along by the drift of his caustic eye. And it’s certainly the kind of art that suits a postmodern era favoring conceptual vitality over pictorial rigor. Or, does Polke’s lifework reflect an ignorance of deeper possibilities of art? The vast visual evidence of Alibis encourages one to believe that Polke was an artist quite uninterested in how someone like Goya surpassed his imitators, or how Piet Mondrian or Schwitters transcended their contemporaries — and how a discipline unique to art connects their spirits. By long-term standards, Polke comes off as a brilliant, renegade graphic artist at furious play. His observations may be bitingly original, but his expectations of art low, as if he considered it no more than a Rorschach test, an artisanal launching point for cerebral adventures."
Corio writes: "When a group of pictures affects one so viscerally that they challenge some of the deeper convictions one holds about art-making, they certainly bear further analysis. Isn’t this one of the higher goals to which the artist aspires?... the appropriation mentality is something I never really bought into. Its defenders and exponents would say that it’s critiquing some of the most sacred cows of western art: originality, authorship, genius, masterpieces, inspiration, and so on. But it can just as easily be used as a kind of fig leaf to cover over what is in fact exhaustion and decay... In spite of these reservations, I’ve always believed that the best art creates its own argument – if you set up a podium next to a strong work and deliver a theoretical disquisition as to why it’s not valid, the art, although mute, will win and you’ll just wind up looking silly. This was certainly my experience with the Longo drawings – my objections just seemed strident while I was in the gallery, and only gained strength after I was away from the pictures. I still maintain that the objections are real nonetheless."
James Kalm visits the recent exhibition Pop Abstraction at Fredericks & Freiser, New York.
Kalm notes that the show "[gathers] together a multigenerational contingent of painters, this exhibition presents a legacy of style that has become recently significant for its innovation as well as its critical stance towards formalistic abstraction. Since the beginnings of Modernism, the dialectic impulses between figurative abstract art have been fertile grounds for exploration. In these examples we see the 'mediation' and humor of Pop filter through the rationalism of classic New York School abstraction."
Calandra writes that Ostendarp's "perfectly thought-out nuances of color and highly meditated canvas configurations address the history of minimalism and also [his] own involvement in color field painting while mixing in a heavy dose of humor, timing, and optical irony... Currently, Ostendarp makes life's banalities and the banal's onomatopoeias the subject of his work. Brghhhh, Aaargh, Pfppp. We've all released these heavy sighs at some point or another. Brilliantly pairing a vast array of exasperations with an utterly obsessive attention to detail when it comes to his choice of color, proportion and composition, it seems to me that Ostendarp is composing the perfect viewing experience while making a comment on possible frustrations with the human intellect and the limitations of language. It is a satisfyingly sarcastic gesture he is making as he hides the paintings' complexity in its simplicity."
On the occasion of the exhibition Patrick Caulfield at Tate Britain (through September 1), curator Nicholas Serota and artist Dexter Dalwood look at two Caulfield paintings: Interior with a Picture (1985-86) and Dining Recess (1972).
Dalwood comments: "What I really like... is just how 'hard-core' the paintings are, in the sense that they're so pared down. I think it was very hard at that point, in the early 70s, to make paintings which weren't about other issues, just to stick with his core interests and just tough it out. What's amazing about his work, when it is great, is it's intelligent picture making, which is as sophisticated as anything else. It's about a kind of idea of looking back at through the structure of interior spaces within painting and re-thinking it and coming up with a new version of it. I think that's what's tough and slightly perverse."
Kalm notes: "With 'Logos and Toons' the artist dissects images that relate to his earliest ventures into the art world, with technical innovations he's been exploring to the present day. Acheiving a surface that resembles flaking plaster walls, with rich pure pigment color, Gross crops and reverses quotidian images to reveal abstract shapes and forms that are at once familiar and foreign. Rainer Gross gives an in-depth interview discussing his process and relationship with Larry Rivers."
John Yau reflects on the work and legacy of painter Wayne Thiebaud on the occasion of the exhibition Wayne Thiebaud: A Retrospective at Acquavella Galleries, New York, on view through November 30, 2012.
Yau writes: "At a point when everybody was squeezing space out of paintings, Thiebaud was putting it back in, while establishing a tension between surface and depth. The reason is that Thiebaud wants the viewer to be aware of his or her own body, and he recognizes that this is something that Pollock lost when he made his groundbreaking paintings. For all their materiality, Pollock’s allover paintings make it difficult for the viewer to orient his or her body to the painting — they take the ground we are standing on away. I suspect this is one reason why Thiebaud has never gained the favor of MoMA. He challenges their narrative, which claims this was the goal of painting."
Steward posts: "Rosenquist has long been recognized for incorporating fragmented pictoral images in his paintings, yet in his most recent works, abstractions, patterns, and astronomical motifs play heavily. This is no coincidence, as the artist, who grew up in Depression-era North Dakota, spent much of his childhood gazing at the Northern Lights, star showers, and solar winds of the Great Plains. The brush fire, inciting an existential quandary, left Rosenquist reflective, questioning his relation to the world, reality, and the perceptual, as well as the passage of time."
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.