July 27, 2012

New American Painting poll: Most significant painter to emerge since 2000

In a new online poll, New American Painting wants readers to vote for the most significant painter to emerge since 2000. Here is the preliminary list they have compiled, but readers can vote for other painters in the comments section. Who have they forgotten?

 Chris Martin

Richard Aldrich
Tauba Auerbach
Mark Bradford
Joe Bradley
Nicole Eisenman
Mark Grotjahn
Wade Guyton
Julie Mehretu
R.H. Quaytman
Sterling Ruby
Dana Schutz

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7 comments:

Over on his Facebook page Loren Munk posted a link to the poll with the comment:

WHAT'S WRONG WITH THIS POLL? Although I like this kind of enthusiasm for painting, there are way too many faults in the structure to get any kind of accurate results.

Many of his friends concurred. Here are a few other comments:

"A complete train wreck. Betrays a foundational misunderstanding of contemporary art and imho only further discredits New American Paintings."

"It should be titled "Who is the most significant painter to emerge in the 'commercial' art world since 2000?" (No offence to any of the named artists, or NAP, after all they do link my videos to some shows) Also, they're about five years behind the "edge"."

"I think it is a viable topic - would have liked to have a more democratic process though...take nominations from the public and then process them down in a couple of rounds, rather than asking public to vote only on the NAP naval-gazing list."

"Why is such a list even valid? Why herd artists into ranks and statistics? People's Choice awards only show what's popular, not what's important, or what's going to be important in a hundred years."

These really aren't the type of discussions for artists to be having, its really more of a critics discussion. Artists can be critics too, but they may lack teh objectivity to look at the artists and really analyze teh merits of each as the discussion deals with the concept of "most influential" painter. I like a lot of painters, but many of them are not known widely enough, thus they would not merit inclusion in this list. If teh topic was addressed directly to artist and the question was posed..."which contemporary painter has most influenced your painting practice" ...then painters could begin to provide some meaningful input and it might actually truly reflect the influence of painters among painters rather than teh larger art worl/critical establishment

Twelve years isn't much time in terms of making these kinds of judgements. The history of art demands more distance. I'm not sure if one can say that anyone who has appeared since 2000 is that important (yet).

This judgement depends on the definition of "significant." If we evaluate these artists in terms of their influence on others, then, as LM Smith notes, the final reckoning requires more distance. If, on the other hand, we concern ourselves with market impact, then all we need to do is tally their sales figures.

The idea is an archaic one dating from the competition aspect of the culture as if art was a sport or war. Over-population has made it far too complex to name best this, best that. Too many opinions and options has made competition meaningless to individuals, whether they recognize it or not. This is why art that has some spiritual aspect on a personal level will increasingly become The Best and competitions will increasingly gain the air of Miss America.

The idea is an archaic one dating from the competition aspect of the culture as if art was a sport or war. Over-population has made it far too complex to name best this, best that. Too many opinions and options has made competition meaningless to individuals, whether they recognize it or not. This is why art that has some spiritual aspect on a personal level will increasingly become The Best and competitions will increasingly gain the air of Miss America.

I am commenting on the notion of significant painters, specifically recent painters, and the problem of art as a competition. One can't help but make judgements. Most of us look at the art for sale on the sidewalk of West Broadway and go"Yuck, these creeps have no clue (probably no education, etc.)" I choose which shows to see after looking on the internet and thinking about my past experiences with various artists. I make my judements. How can we not do that?

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