Saturday, February 22, 2020

Dashiell Manley at Jessica Silverman


A lot painting today is excuses for getting bright striking colors onto canvas. Paint excused because we don't trust "expression." PRs become the spellcasting against anything that could be mistaken for irrational, and we spit-firing reasons, definitions, reference, backloading the work to look like weight. The compressive strength of bamboo. Excuses become important when we've conflated painting with its history. Both the history of the art-form, in which painting must become a marker for its own context, a placeholder of itself, for curators to elucidate, but also because of this the individual canvas must have a raison. This is the tension of all that neanderthal painting, of trying to make paintings so stupid it couldn't possibly be mistaken as reasonable. And yet here we are. Perhaps brilliance, like Grotjahn, in just not even excusing oneself. A confusion of whether or not these are dumb.