Monday, March 1, 2021

R. H. Quaytman at Serralves

(link)

Quaytman is forebear to today's painting puzzification. Like any good mystery, it's rife with clues. Painting becomes signs and signals, turn painting into information, the little motifs become points of reference, repetitions to build resonance. A resonance that feels like meaning. They are endlessly elsewhere. We are told "every detail... is subject to careful control." Careful control presuming purpose for such, but surely there can be anality without purpose. Or, anality itself is the purpose. The careful control of avoiding anything so specific as to be finally graspable, a very very finely tuned house of mirrors. "a novel without conclusion." Already in 2014, Quaytman asking "What are they adding up to—or, to put it bluntly, what is the “book” about?" The question becomes that of all painters, painting, how long can Quaytman keep the mystery without end interesting. How long can one delay? How to resist saying anything while still appear to be speaking. Enough mirrors and the ventriloquist need not speak at all?

...The internet at the time felt like so many keyholes to look through. Everything before was found in dusty libraries, had been stuffed into artist catalogs, piecemeal, the one Quaytman "chapter" you saw in person at Abreu.. And Quaytman's paintings magnified the pleasures of this, of a good mystery. The doors of new media opening along with the mystery of Quaytman; it provided its own meta-detective story. ... and better resolution with each one. Go look at 2008's documentation here. Compare it to today's. We see it all now pornography is the mainstay, all at once as much as you want. There is little left to the imagination, to mystery. ... in higher and higher resolution, eventually returned itself as an endless and inconclusive hall of mirrors. They revealed themselves as paintings.

See all R.H. Quaytman

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Group Show at Tanya Leighton with Sadie Coles

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...exhibition most interesting for its documentation which turns to documentary. The work no longer accruing laurels through rent-space but argued in cultural speech. This is a subtle but powerful shift. Looking for new ways to internet its object. The press release becomes narrative voiceover. History becomes filmic juxtaposition. We've always had the accrediting power of Art21, or whatever mini-documentary, but now its put out in an exhibition, in place of it. That open headspace of clicking through images we can't let go uncapitalized, that's free real estate. Let the voiceover soothe. This might become a thing. At the time I had thought Leckey's Proposal for an Exhibition was the way forward, maybe this is what will come - Advertisement/documentary.


Friday, February 26, 2021

Bradley Ertaskiran [Bunker] at Contemporary Art Daily

(link)

It's generally frowned upon, the extolling/photography of your own bellybutton. Navel-gazing's "self-indulgent or excessive contemplation of oneself or a single issue, at the expense of a wider view."
But when has art ever been above its own self-aggrandizement, mirrored-auto-pleasure. (We've practically turned that itself into an art.) (This the obvious fallout of institutional critique.) The mirror becomes shinier, more pixels added, until someday hopefully the functions themselves become visible. We ascribe great power to a room that is the ostensible factory of our meaning. Painful to find to only rooms. Go into a church and find the basement's folding tables, plastic conference rooms for the glory of God. They are but rooms. The phantasm of nothingness. 

Ala Bourdieu, the real consecration is getting people to believe. 


 Past: [Adam Feldmeth] at Contemporary Art Daily

"...Like fish bumping into glass, attempt to seek the limits of our experience, our aquarium of fantasy..."

Read full: REDCAT at Contemporary Art Daily

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Hend Samir at Real Pain & Sophie von Hellermann at Larsen Warner

(Real Pain, Larsen Warner)

..trends for a sort of hyper-liquidity - hyperbole of the painterly... exaggerated to jest. ...the painterly involves a framework, a subject that bleeds. The painterly requires an object for the brush to caress. 

"Because it seems what we are actually pushing around on the canvas is the cultural object of painting. The canvas, support, oils, were long ago replaced by this mythos, its signifiers, significance."

("Paint becomes simply the candied shell to painting's cultural myth. ..Drawing ripples in surface to activate the beneath, tap the vast depths of painting's cultural wealth, this the watermelon.")

We want the painterly because this is painting's bright jewel - the more painterly it is the more undeniably painting it is, tautologically as symbol. In times of crisis we seek comfort in the familiar - put our money in what's safe. Is this why impressionism is coming back? When painting tends towards its hyperbolization - the ability to be more painterly, more Painting. We see time move in reverse, is this already impressionism?


See too: "Back to the Future impressionism" Genieve Figgis at Almine Rech, Ambera Wellmann at LuluNicola Tyson at Friedrich PetzelNicola Tyson at Nathalie Obadia, "Watermelon TheoryTala Madani

Past: Sophie von Hellermann

"Such softness, it's abject. Saccharine. Like walking around with cotton candy between toes, sugary resolve to true grit. Till your teeth fall out your head. But softness something of a ruse, a narrative lacking definition..."
"We look through the paint at some cloudy apparitions like a Renoir got wet. For all their candy von Hellerman's aren't all that appetizing; Suzanne Hudson called their characters etiolated, plants grown leggy in darkness, a feeling of being deprived of crucial nutrients..."


Read full: Sophie von Hellermann at Office Baroque Sophie von Hellermann at Greene Naftali