Simon Hantaï, “Meun,” 1968, oil on canvas, 96 7/8 x 87″
Nathan Hylden, “Untitled,” 2009, acrylic on aluminum, 77 1/2 x 57″
In “Process/Abstraction” at Paul Kasmin,the gallery aims to connect the ideas and practices of Simon Hantaï, who died in Paris in 2008, and Frank Stella with a younger generation of abstractionists like Nathan Hylden and Zak Prekop. According to the press release, the artists “begin with deliberate and well-defined parameters and then introduce an element of chance. In their final forms, these works present a record of the processes employed while outlining new directions in pictorial abstraction.”
Walking through the exhibition, I was struck by the absence of women in the show. Does it suggest bias, or is the selection merely incomplete? I like the idea of recontextualizing work by the old guys and giving some weight to the work of younger artists, but maybe the mix should be more contemporary, sloppier, and sexier–especially with all the excellent female painters exploring abstraction today. Beyond that, much of the work in the show seems overdetermined and sterile. An exhibition about process should be a little less severe, a little more fun. Stay tuned for Part II, in which I suggest some women whom Kasmin might have been included in the show.
“Process / Abstraction,” Paul Kasmin, New York, NY. Through July 2, 2010. Artists include Walead Beshty, Daniel Buren, Ian Davenport, Simon Hantaï, Nathan Hylden, Morris Louis, James Nares, Kenneth Noland, Zak Prekop, David Ratcliff, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol and Christopher Wool.