James Kalm visits the exhibition Xstraction at The Hole, New York. The exhibition features work by 32 contemporary abstract painters.
The press release states that the show examines trends in "textile-based and 'craftstraction'", paintings influenced by "digital aesthetics," "trodden-upon, dirtied, worn out or even 'entropic' abstraction," and "un-painterly abstraction" in the works of a younger generation of painters.
Kalm's video walkthrough looks at "commonalities and techniques employed by this generation of artists. Includes views of works by: Adam Henry, Andrew Sutherland, Angel Otero, Anoka Faruqee, Chris Johanson, Cory Arcangel, Gerhard Richter, Kadar Brock, Mark Flood, Sam Moyer, Thomas Øvilsen, Trudy Benson, Wade Guyton, Wendy White, Xylor Jane."
Thomas Micchelli reviews Xstraction at The Hole, New York. The exhibition features work by 32 contemporary abstract painters.
Michelli writes that "there are only a few paintings here that are startling in their originality, but despite their sheen of newness, their relationship to antecedents is very much in evidence. This is not a criticism; to the contrary, it’s a major factor in the richness of their aura (a word I use advisedly). The rest of the works in the show appear to be earnestly made, but their conversion of past practices (abjection and process are especially pervasive) for the here and now do not register as particularly imperative."
Jonathan Chapline and Lorraine Nam visit Trudy Benson's studio on the occasion of her solo exhibition Paint at Horton Gallery, New York, on view from April 25 - June 2 , 2013.
Benson discusses her process: "For the most part for these paintings, I feel like they are a collage of different painting moves and I approach it the same way you would if you’re making a Photoshop file... In the beginning of the painting, it happens really fast and I can do the first four to five moves pretty fast within one to two days and even up to the first oil move. Then after the first oil paint move, I can only think one step ahead. Even if I try, I sometimes forget what I’m planning on doing and I might change my mind too. Sometimes I work on a few different ideas. There’s a lot of painting that happens outside of the studio at this point. In the work in my last show, I was using a different medium, so things would happen a lot faster. Now everything is drying slow but I actually like that I can be more selective about what moves I make and I actually enjoy taking more time in between steps."
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.' "
Crowley writes that Tyler's work is "inspired by 8 bit Nintendo graphics backgrounds, cartoony colors, and sci-fi games... early computer graphics, and textiles from the 80s." "Next to Trudy’s painting," Crowley notes, "I got a glimpse into the secret process of her work. These are little studies she makes using computer programs like Microsoft Paint. She takes these and replicates the same sort of geometric and rigid digital mark-making technique in oil paint."
An essay that proposes links between pop culture attitudes (music and dance in particular) and the "provisional" trend in contemporary painting.
"Dancing, at least as it might happen in a club to the tune of Kesha’s songs, is a kind of ecstatic yet responsive expression, the physical enactment of an internal reaction to an external stimulus. Something similar might be said of abstract painting, both in regard to the process of making it and to the process of viewing it, both of which can be emotional and even rapturous. In thinking about the relationship between pop music’s fascination with end times and life in post-crash America, I couldn’t help thinking about the a similar rise in visibility of abstract work concurrent with pop music’s 'apocalyptic abandon.' In the past two years, several critics attempted to theorize practices in this very broad vein, most prominently Raphael Rubinstein and Sharon Butler, whose respective terms of 'Provisional Painting' and 'The New Casualists' focus on the unfinished appearance of such work. Butler describes this tendency as 'calculated tentativeness,' but I would like to propose the opposite: what if we think of such work not as trying to look incomplete, but as rejecting completion as a contemporarily relevant state in a late capitalist society where instability and precariousness reign? Here, even perfection won’t help you get a job, and it certainly won’t save you from getting laid off. In this view, we might think of contemporary abstract painting more like music, and particularly dance music: remixed and faded into the tracks before and after it such that it never ends and becomes instead a perpetual experience of the present."
Benson discusses her process including working from digital sketches. She comments: "I use the most basic digital imaging program that came with my studio computer - a P.C. - to make sketches which I use as guides for certain parts of my paintings. I don’t really plan out my paintings from the beginning, though. MS Paint and other basic digital imaging software are more of an inspiration than a tool. The paintings first manifest themselves as a simple idea, or jumping off point, usually about effect. From there, experiments with application and technique lead to an improvisational process in the studio. The reference to MS Paint is definitely intentional; however, it revealed itself to be an inspiration through the process of making paintings with different paints and applications of paint. I believe the first abstract works I consciously made were on an old Macintosh SE using the MacPaint software, so I kind of discovered that when I finally moved into abstraction I was using similar materials as the virtual toolbox and even collaging paint elements in a similar way."
Zachary Keeting and Christopher Joy visit the studio of painter Trudy Benson.
Referring to a painting in the studio, Benson comments that there were "several points when I just kind of wanted to throw in the towel... rather than... scrape anything off I started doing these scribble lines either in spray paint or paint squeezed out of the tubes... I want the history of the painting to be there and I try not to think about things being mistakes in the painting... they're part of the painting."
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.