Allmaier comments: "I think the key to letting the paintings make themselves is to regard the materials, along with their contingent circumstances (and it’s silly to think of circumstances as separable from an object anyway) as mental states, without distinction from a particular physical state. Then agency is there already – agency isn’t an abstract, supernatural ether: for us at least, we can only know it or talk about it or have it in relation to some object, and it even can’t be distinguished from a particular object. Making the paint is helpful for this. Then there’s physical color – tangible, weighted color, not just visual color or abstract color. This color has mentality (not my mentality) precisely because it is physically particular – the concept of the color isn’t impoverished by separation from the world. The stretcher is a very important step too. The kind of paint (and the way the paint ought to be treated, which is really the same thing, for a given painting) depends on the particular spatial or object quality of the canvas, which depends on the scale of the stretcher. So the stretcher is a type of drawing, which can get re-drawn if necessary by cutting and rebuilding it."
Michael Rutherford writes about a selection of painters whose instincts are leading them to make work beyond the limits of "the plane."
Rutherford writes: "Professional skateboarders have a saying, 'skate how you feel, not how you should,' and the most experimental and engaging artists have always operated just like that - working how they feel, not how they should. Currently, I see painters and others asserting their freedom and pushing the progression of painting in increasingly fresher ways. Specifically, I’m noticing more loosely hung, sometimes radically altered or reattached swaths of canvas (among other things) without need of being held taut and hung into place by stretchers. In other examples, the stretcher bars remain, but they’ve been reconfigured in diverse ways with vastly different intentions. But in the most arcane instances, paint has been applied to other objects altogether: utensils, detritus, you name it. It’s clear there’s no further pushing of the picture plane here, but some rather bracing yet energizing examples of painting post-plane."
Michael Rutherford talks to artist Maria Walker about her work.
Rutherford writes: "Altered stretcher bars, torqued and triangulated planes, backs as fronts - the work of Maria Walker is a lesson in harmonizing tradition and experimentation... She has pushed her materials and flowed with them in order to elicit a distinctive sense of aesthetic truth. Many of her paintings involve dense soakings of pigment while others have a reworking of the stretchers that gives them the ability to stand on their own without being wall-mounted. A few pieces involve no canvas at all, which obviously changes how they’re approached and perceived. Through all this exploration, there’s a sense of sureness that surrounds what I consider challenging and thoughtful work."
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.