Did painting, as some have argued, reach a dead end with the culmination of abstraction in the late 20th century? If anything, the opposite seems to be true. Representation and abstraction, historically, were not, and are not, total opposites. Abstraction almost inevitably has representational qualities (as Jackson Pollock’s work demonstrates). To look at the issue from a different direction, abstracted figuration was the hallmark of movements like Post-Impressionism. As much of this exhibition demonstrates, abstraction and representation are often vitally intertwined.
This show seeks to illuminate some of these interactions and dilemmas, by showing a selection of contemporary painting, in all of its variety and inventiveness. While the work is from all across the world, with a number of styles and social commitments, nevertheless, the exhibition, has a feeling of cohesion and direction. What stands out most is the interplay between the effects of new media (especially social networks such as Instagram), the verities of brush and canvas, and the ever-present tensions between figuration and abstraction. Specifically, many of the works engage by giving the viewer a feeling of abstraction anthropomorphized, touching on themes of trans-humanism and the future of the body as a unitary, stable, whole.
ABOUT THE JUROR:
Steven Henry Madoff is the founding chair of the Masters in Curatorial Practice program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. Previously, he served as senior critic at Yale University’s School of Art. He lectures internationally on such subjects as the history of interdisciplinary art, contemporary art, and art pedagogy. He has served as executive editor of ARTnews magazine and as president and editorial director of AltaCultura, a project of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. His books include Art School (Propositions for the 21st Century) from MIT Press; Pop Art: A Critical History from University of California Press; Christopher Wilmarth: Light and Gravity from Princeton University; To Seminar(contributor) from Metropolis M Books. Forthcoming: The Power of the Unseparate: Network Aesthetics and the Rise of Interdisciplinary Art from University of Chicago Press; What About Activism? (editor) from Sternberg Press; and After the Educational Turn: Critical Art Pedagogies and Decolonialism (contributor) from Black Dog Press. Essays on pedagogy have recently appeared in volumes associated with conferences at art academies in Beijing, Paris, Utrecht, and Gothenburg. He has written monographic essays on various artists, such as Marina Abramović, Georg Baselitz, Ann Hamilton, Rebecca Horn, Shirin Neshat, and Kimsooja, for museums and art institutions around the world. His criticism and journalism have been translated into many languages and have appeared regularly in such publications as the New York Times, Time magazine, Artforum, Art in America, Tate Etc., as well as in ARTnews and Modern Painters, where he has served as a contributing editor. He has curated exhibitions internationally over the last 30 years in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. Madoff is the recipient of numerous awards, including from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Academy of American Poets. He holds his BA in English Literature from Columbia University, his MA in English and American Literature from Stanford University, and his PhD in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University.
Robin Crofut-Brittingham, Hanae Kawai, Lesia Sochor, Bryce Speed, Holly Boruck, Jessamyn Box, Phung Huynh, Donna Festa, Greg Slick, John Fallon, Florence Alfano McEwin, Connie Brown, Laura Mosquera, Kiley Ames, Jon Catania, Kim Anderson, Ashley Bouton, Lynn Kraus. Leslie Adler, Scott Reeds, Priscilla Fowler, Bob Aldrich, Townsend Davidson, Meredith Olinger, Kevin Arnold, Tirazheh Eslami, Ashley Shellhause,M. Mark Bauer, Jasmine Alleger, William Lord, Michael Connors, Eleanor Aldrich, Christian Duran, Laura Sharp Wilson, Natasha Sweeten, Sue Danielson, Alejandro Padilla, Lillian Young, David Teal, Michael Bisbee, Barbara Rubensohn, Daniel Brewer, Robert Bunkin, Andrew Prieto, Beverly Barber, Sally Havlis, Ava Roth, Mihee Nahm, Felisa Federman, Nina Bellucci, Joseph Bergen, Melissa Wills Barnes, Lynn Arnold