For painters like me, curating group shows, although time consuming, helps articulate more specifically what what we’re investigating in our own work. Here are three good examples of shows curated by painters. Please feel free to leave links in the Comments section if you know of others.
“Present Tense,” curated by Don Christensen with Mary Heilmann. Spanierman Modern, New York, NY. Through August 2, 2008. The paintings included in the show aim at producing instant and visceral responses in the viewer, without the necessity of background information or context. Each artist works in the abstract formalist tradition, but, through the development of new painterly vocabularies and use of unusual materials, attempts to redefine the boundaries of painting. Artists include Polly Apfebaum, Emery Blagdon, Don Christensen, John Duff, Hermine Ford, Joe Fyfe, Mary Heilman, Steve Keister, Chris Martin, Stephen Mueller, Arlene Shechet, Taro Suzuki, Stephen Westfall, and Stanley Whitney. Endorsed by Martin Bromirski at Anaba, with pictures.
“Echo, Implant, Imprint, Reverb,” curated by Stephen Maine. A Viewing Room flatfile project at Frederieke Taylor Gallery, New York, NY. According to Maine these artists “derive rather than contrive their work’s rhythm and traction, through the peculiarity and specificity of their improvisational, open-ended procedures. The risk of failure is ever present, but Gunn, Janowich, Keller and Kim seem preternaturally equipped to snatch form from the jaws of the void. As artifacts of that confrontation with chaos, their work is authentic, disarmed, and a bit alien, as if it just crawled out of the mouth of a cave, dazed and blinking in the hot flat light.” Artists include Edwin J. Gunn, Ron Janowich, Marthe Keller and Joyce Kim. While you’re there, check out Lisa Krivacka’s new show, “Almost Utopia.” Both shows are up through August 8.
“The Idea of Nature,” curated by Bill Weiss. 33 Bond Gallery, New York, NY. Through July 31. The artists selected don’t depict the natural world per se, but rather evoke the idea of nature through abstraction. Artists include Elisa D’Arrigo, Heather Hutchison, Andrew Masullo, Leslie Wayne, Bill Weiss, Stephen Westfall and Michael Pribich.