Dieter Krieg, Untitled, 1985, 105 x 61 inches (chicken leg) (collection of the artist)
Arena rock power chords stir memories of Neo-Expressionist paintings for painter Ken Weathersby.
Weathersby writes: "As there is something signaling excess, even hinting at chaos in an overdriven distorted guitar on the edge of feedback, so there is in the touch of a gigantic brush dripping with a giant blob of mottled oil color. Each contains potential worlds within itself-- and each can present a virtuosic dishing out of monumental forms, fat floating slabs for the ears or the eyes. In both cases the expression is a presumption of intensity and power deployed. In both cases the awareness of the touch of a creating hand invites one to identify and emulate by miming a swinging gesture of a brush, or a thrash at an air guitar. It’s a seductive image of mastery, full of grandiosity."
Raphael Rubinstein investigates the "near total erasure" of Neo-Expressionism.
Rubinstein writes: "Chia, Cucchi, Clemente, Mariani, Baselitz, Lüpertz, Middendorf, Fetting, Penck, Kiefer, Schnabel . . . these and other artists are engaged not (as is frequently claimed by critics who find mirrored in this art their own frustration with the radical art of the present) in the recovery and reinvestment of tradition, but rather in declaring its bankruptcy—specifically, the bankruptcy of the modernist tradition. Everywhere we turn today the radical impulse that motivated modernism—its commitment to transgression—is treated as the object of parody and insult. What we are witness- ing, then, is the wholesale liquidation of the entire modernist legacy."
He concludes: "Maybe we shouldn’t be so certain about who won the Neo-Ex vs. Pictures Generation bout. Lately, I’ve sensed MFA students responding to the oeuvres of Sherman and Prince with yawns or sneers, but when I bring up Schnabel their curiosity awakens. Could it be that, 30 years on, we are once again ready to take up 'The Expressionism Question?' "
R. Donnelly blogs about the exhibition Georg Baselitz: Das Negativ at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, on view through August 31, 2012.
Donnelly writes: "In Das Negativ, Baselitz paints from photographic negatives, resulting in a necessarily dark palette, with subjects obscured in their reversed portrayals– a step beyond the artist’s usual practice of painting his figures upside down. Though essentially painted from life, Baselitz subverts any realistic elements with his intense gentural abstraction, and tenebrous palette."
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.