In addition to a slideshow of works from the exhibition, Gopnik posts: "At this moment we are officially in the middle of yet another abstract-art revival, according to dealers and certain writers. But the urgency that once came with abstraction has clearly disappeared. The nonfiguration that’s attempted today inevitably seems like a rehashing of the abstraction of old, or a footnote to it and ironic poke at it, or some kind of retro revisitation, akin to the Mad Men suits on today’s businessmen. It’s almost impossible to see today’s abstraction as mattering much for tomorrow’s art..."
He continues: "But it could be that to note the passing of abstraction as a form of current art is to misunderstand what mattered most about the abstract revolution in the first place: it may have been less about the 'abstract' than about 'revolution.' Its impact didn’t depend so much on the gorgeous works of art it led to as on the fact of leaving so much behind. Abstraction was the model, the test case, for art as innovation, so that almost all the radical art that came later had its roots in that moment in 1912. Readymades and monochromes, text-based art and performance, happenings and purely conceptual gestures, all depend on abstraction’s pioneering rejections of business-as-usual art. 'Abstraction unsettles more than just the fact of depiction,'says [exhibition curator Leah] Dickerman-it establishes the act of unsettling as the sign of modern thought."
Coining the term "anti-immediate," Mario Naves' latest post finds the internal logic and "elusive sense of, not so much time away, as time passing" in the work of Helen Miranda Wilson to be a meaningful antidote to search engine driven culture. Wilson's work is on view in the exhibition 70 Years of Abstract Painting - Excerpts at Jason McCoy Gallery through May 20, 2011.
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."
John Haber blogs about the resurgence of abstract painting, evident in a large number of high quality exhibitions recently on view in New York.
Haber writes: "Call me old-fashioned. Just don’t call me derivative. That put-down dogged abstraction for a long time, back when painting was, you know, dead. Since then abstraction has roared back, but by quoting - often to the point of conceptual art. So surprise, for early fall has brought no end of sincerity, with pleasures of its own."
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.