Sam Cornish, editor of Abstract Critical, the UK based website dedicated to abstract painting and sculpture, recently posted that the site will stop publication. This is sad news to anyone interested in abstract painting and sculpture. Since January 2011 the site has published thoughtful, long-form reviews, opinion pieces, and videos.
While quality content is crucial to the success of any site, a regular publishing cadence is also important. Abstract Critical had both, a fact which made me and many others regular visitors. While commenting has been integral to blogs since their inception, Abstract Critical cultivated an atmosphere conducive to debate. While they may not quite have achieved a Cedar Bar of the internet, they succeeded more than most blogs in fomenting discussion of all sorts, from the bitingly critical to friendly banter exchanged amongst frequent commenters.
Sam Cornish and Robin Greenwood are to be particularly commended for their efforts to make Abstract Critical a vital source of criticism and discussion around the topic of abstraction. Not only did both contribute a significant amount of writing to the site, but their efforts to spur conversation around the articles (no small task) was and is greatly appreciated.
Although no new content will be added, existing articles will remain online. The Abstract Critical Twitter account will also remain active and The Brancaster Chronicles, an ongoing series of transcribed studio visits, will also continue to be published as a new site.
Cornish’s last post to Abstract Critical featured some of his favorite articles from the site. Since Painters’ Table has featured many pieces from Abstract Critical I thought I would contribute fifteen recommendations of my own. This selection only scratches the surface of what is available at Abstract Critical, but any of the articles below constitutes an excellent launch point for perusing this resource.
Best wishes to the Abstract Critical team and thanks for a job well done.
Parkinson writes that Painting Too "forms part-two of a duo of shows about abstract painting... If part-one, [The Discipline of Painting] featured that strand of abstraction that foregrounds a 'formal' as opposed to 'informal' approach, part two concentrates on the other strand, work that is looser in execution, more 'provisional,' 'casual' 'informal,' more Romantic than Classical, or possibly even, more Dionysian than Apollonian."
Andy Parkinson reviews the exhibition Other Objects at Lion and Lamb Gallery, London, on view through July 13, 2013.
The exhibition features works by Karl Bielik, Alice Cretney, Vincent Hawkins, Caterina Lewis, Wendy McLean, Gwennan Thomas, and David Webb. Parkinson notes that "the works, whilst coming from varied places of logic around abstraction, at some point in their realisation share a notion of object and placing them in proximity to other objects, persons or spaces, new relationships emerge inviting us to look again. For me 'object' and 'relationship' are key words in any consideration of abstract painting, even though they tend to get used in contradictory ways: in abstraction the object (content) gives way to relationship (form), or conversely the relationship (to content) gives way to the autonomous object (form)."
Katarina Hybenova talks with Julie Torres about the exhibition ALLTOGETHERNOW at the Coin Locker during Bushwick Open Studios. Torres organized the show which brought painters from around the world together for a collaborative exhibition. The exhibition featured work by Brian Cypher, Brian Edmonds, David T. Miller, Ian White Williams, Inga Dalrymple, Julie Alexander, Justine Frischmann, Peter Shear, Stephen Wright, Vincent Hawkins, and Yifat Gat.
Hybenova writes that Torres "invited a dozen artists she has never met in person, but she has been in vivid contact through social media and art blogs. Many of them came from over seas... [and] participated in a collaborative drawing night with the Bushwick artist held at Hyperallergic HQ. The show titled ALLTOGETHERNOW at a pop up location at Starr and Wycoff, The Coin Locker featured all of these works, and certainly belonged to the most interesting shows during BOS2012. The works in the show were beautiful, colorful abstract paintings that furthermore reflected the energy and friendship, pure joy of being and creating together in Bushwick…"
Video studio visit with painter Vincent Hawkins where he discusses his recent works on "cardboard and oval-shaped supports." Hawkins notes his interest in "releasing some of the forms out of the constriction of the edge and trying to release it into the environment rather than containing it within the edge of the format of the the rectilinear surface… I also wanted to make something of very meager means..."
Behnke writes that Hawkins' "work, seemingly playful and intuitive, rewards the attentive viewer as the aforementioned qualities give way to a painterly rigor and sophistication. The 'serious play' of Klee or Matisse is brought to mind but never overshadows Hawkins' own certain personality and unique pictorial vocabulary."
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.