Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nathaniel Mary Quinn at Rhona Hoffman & Genesis Tramaine at Almine Rech

“Flesh was the reason oil paint was invented," said de Kooning before violently rearranging his women. Tearing scalp from skull, Picasso invented the modern. Does the coroner's justice. Now with cubist battle damage. The face to be toyed with, drawn on. They conflate their liquid material for our flesh, treat you like an assemblage, middle fingers raised rebellion to it. (It is both legal and common practice to pour the entirety of a corpse's blood into the sink, into municipal drains.) Here’s the thing: No matter what gratuitous things artists do, whatever fingers clawed through bloody abstraction we recognize our smiles beaming through gore. Perhaps this is the reason to hate the face, through all the painter’s cutting, reassembling, stitching, the liquid face shows through red, see a smile. 

See too: The violence against faces.