Joshua Smith Untitled, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 20 x 16 inches (courtesy of Shoot the Lobster)
Thoughts on the continued resonance of monochrome painting inspired by the recent exhibition of paintings by Joshua Smith at Shoot the Lobster, New York.
The work of Smith and other artists including Thomas Kratz, Dan Rees, Julia Rommel, is considered with regard to a question with "two implicit parts: one, whether an artist still stands to gain something 'sincere,' i.e. fulfilling, from making a monochrome, and two, whether the art-viewing public has not become too cynical and/or short of attention to appreciate a contemporary monochrome."
In his introduction Belz writes: "Monochrome spawned no school or movement following its appearance in the early 1960s, but it has nonetheless remained a presence in the art of our time, its directness and simplicity periodically offering respite within a culture drenched increasingly by spectacle, while at the same time demonstrating anew abstraction’s capacity to secure meaning, even when self-imposed limits seemingly reduce its options to degree zero. In varying measures, its appeal has all along been visual and conceptual, a matter of body and mind together accounting for its integrity as art."
In Socrates and the Alligator Marioni writes: "What I propose, to this gathering of painters, is that we seriously consider a radical break with the problems of the art world establishment. By this I do not mean that we should establish a new formal academy or that we should posture ourselves in an ant-theoretical stance against the art world. I am proposing that we rethink the history of painting from the point of view of a painter... that we disengage the profession of painting from the problems of the art world and then let us see how painting will appear independent of the needs of the art world to use painting as a vehicle to transport cultural ideas."
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.