Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Past: Tomma Abts

That despite Zwirner’s PR qualifying Abts as “continuously explor[ing] the activity of painting" (and not simply “painting” like a Neanderthal) Abts is a painter, and, since we’ve long forgotten how to speak about “dumb” painting, everyone instead argues why these aren’t, and instead speak of an “emotional rationality” and “anything but expressionist,” spreading pesticides against the fear of the subject reappearing like selves in the mirror.

The pleasure of Abts’s paintings is that of origami, or well constructed puzzle, like setting a good corner in New Mexico pasture, solving simply its own internal puzzling, like shaker furniture, a clever construction in a protestant like satisfaction of a few-frills job completed.

a triumph of deafness, buckling-down to the same task endlessly, slowly, stubbornly insisting on the cobwebbed autonomy of painting long ago cut and bled out.