Matthew Ballou looks at Richard Diebenkorn's Ocean Park paintings through the lens of "provisional painting."
Ballou writes that "To get a clear view of Diebenkorn's connection with provisionality one must think about the sense of compositional balance exemplified in the Ocean Park Series. It is a balance that is hard-won yet still teetering on the edge of disarray. Though the works are in some ways locked, they flicker and undulate; these are compositions that don’t always feel as if rightness was absolutely achieved."
[IMAGES] Installation photos from the exhibition Provisional Painting on view at Modern Art London through May 25, 2011.
The exhibition, curated by Raphael Rubinstein, takes it's title and premise from Rubinstein's 2009 essay "Provisional Painting" in which he writes: "Provisional painting is not about making 'last paintings', nor is it about the deconstruction of the medium. What the various works in the show share is neither style nor content, neither techniques nor materials, but rather a profound willingness to suspend closure, to leave painting open."
Starting with James Lord's observations of Giacometti's intense process, a process that ended in abandonment, Rubinstein tests the theory of "provisional painting," asking: "What does it mean to believe that in order to create a work of art one must entertain the 'permanent possibility' of abandoning and to believe that something called 'freedom' inheres in this situation?"
Deborah Barlow posts about the paintings on view at the multi-venue art exhibition Pacific Standard Time, including paintings by Ed Moses, John Altoon, Lee Mullican, Mary Corse, Richard Diebenkorn, Ronald Davis, and Sam Francis.
Barlow writes that "The experience (of the exhibitions) as it turns out is even more overwhelming and implication-rich than I imagined... And even though I spent my early life on the West Coast and am very familiar with the work of many of these California artists, the visual impact still has me feeling a bit too dizzied to offer a linear account."
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.