Goodrich writes: " Lining the black-painted walls are 11 six-foot-tall paintings, each a brushy, schematic depiction of kitchenware-laden shelves. Caught in florid strokes of black enamel paint and charcoal dust, the depicted objects have a cartoon-like life of their own. A stack of eight pans teeters, their handles pointing the same way, like sheep on a breezy day. In a tall bottle, fish radiate about a single point, as if fixing their gaze on an adjacent container. In another painting, goblets arrayed on five shelves shift through various states, as if posing in an evolution chart. The artist explains how the charcoal dust refers to a charcoal-heated foot warmer pictured in the Vermeer painting, and how kitchen utensils and recipes speak to the relationship between server and served. But you really needn’t know this to drink in the appealingly loopy images."
Referring to Wheat's recent show at Valentine Gallery, Gleisner writes that "Given the context, the documentation of work in the Valentine show pertains to the daily maintenance of personhood—that is, grooming. Inverting the art historical formula of female bathers painted by male artists such as Bonnard and Picasso, Wheat made several large paintings of male bathers as well as objects like mirrors, toothbrushes, and combs sculpted out of paint. Tension arises when the palpable delight of the work’s execution confronts the grotesque rendering of the forms as in Kiss... In this painting the squishy embrace of two massive heads is memorably depicted, subject matter matching the heft of the haptic aspects of the work. Wheat gropes touchy subjects as the materials and forms are raucously upended."
Moeller writes: "As [exhibition curator Dina] Deitsch so aptly states, 'The artists collected in this exhibition paint things. They literally paint things. And by doing so they welcome the notion of the Thing—the object—into the realm of the image and, in the modernist language of a painting, into the flatness that is a painting’s historical hallmark.' This increasingly heated oscillation between the two mediums of painting and sculpture grapples less with answers but rather more with questions, some of which are deliberately pointed and profoundly obscure... The deCordova gathered eighteen artists for Paint Things and the assemblage of work is a smartly executed foray into the blurred and frenzied and ever-shifting world of contemporary practices. Looking backward in time, too, the exhibition pays homage, directly and indirectly, to the work of a host of artists whose presence is keenly felt, making the balance struck seem remarkably current."
A report on a panel discussion about contemporary painting at the exhibition Paradox Maintenance Technicians at the Torrance Art Museum, California, on view through March 9, 2013. The exhibition surveys contemporary painting in Los Angeles and beyond featuring the work of 26 painters.
"Despite some disagreement about whether painting was dead as a medium (or whether that was even a relevant question anymore) all the panelists did seem to agree that a resurgence of painting was taking place today in Los Angeles and elsewhere... 'I think the reason why painting still makes this resurgence time and time again is because it really confirms our humanity in a unique way that no other material can,' said [Caitlin] Moore... 'In the end, we crave something that really has a human touch or a human element to it...I think that's a reason why Los Angeles specifically is moving the way that it is, simply because there are so many avenues and mediums that are diluting that experience. It seems natural to migrate back towards painting...in a society that is so technologically saturated.' "
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.