Saturday, December 2, 2017

Josephine Halvorson at Sikkema Jenkins


The fourth wall's plane, the painting, that's always foreboding in Halvorsen's is literalized here in the NO TRESPASSING sign which, as the PR mentions, "the painting metaphorically extends the boundary line" i.e for all representational painting's ostensible window-into-ness it's still a wall we're racking our brains bashing our heads against. Mark Tansey's "A Short History of Modernist painting" comes to mind, or taking the measure of Plimack Mangold, the point being this will never not be fun, placing the sticker on the glass to make the window itself visible. It's difficult to see the painting for its frame, the image as its pixels, the words as its collection of letterforms, the painting is the barrier, making a better door than a window as it were, check out my paint.  Paintings aren't culturally valued for their ability to represent, we have images to do that for us, but a signifiers of "painting" - that most symbolically loaded cultural form - and so its important to highlight your brushstrokes, your smears, the act of making it. Gerhard Richter's dragged abstractions sell for way more than the illusions.