Saturday, December 23, 2017

Nolan Simon at What Pipeline


Whoa when was the last time you saw detail shots in painting documentation? Pointing at the paint itself seems to come with Simon's slow move towards seriousifcation, way long ago Simon used to make funny paintings, mentioning 4chan even, the subject matter occasionally Tansey-esque. Comedy which seems to been have shored up to the much more artworldly common form, that quiet awkwardness, that flat footed, punchline free form of humor of like Nauman, say, and you could make an argument Simon's now aren't even actually comical at all, that the traditional scumble technique on view would maybe even point to them being anti-funny since technique generally isn't associated with humor (as if comedians weren't putting hours into craft) comedy is supposed to appear effortless and these appear - and with detail are asked to be noticed as - labored. Jokes aren't really prone to art. A joke is spent and exhausted. So an artwork with its requisite implicit promise of eternalness can't really make a joke without implying that it too will one day be depleted. Prince's real joke is that the paintings keep telling the same joke for years and years stupidly.  Maybe it's with more time that the joke can still survive being even more slight, maybe the joke is painting flowers at all, maybe it's painting them with conviction, a real slapstick subject for contemporary art.