The ten artists in “Smart Painting,” an upcoming exhibition at New Haven’s Artspace Gallery, are an inquisitive group, asking a range of questions, which, at their most basic level, include: What should a painting look like? How should I paint it? What should I paint it on? Beginning with simple questions like these, each of the artists believes (more than most painters) that how they paint is as important as the image they paint.
[Image at top: Claire Grill, Fan, 2013, oil on linen, 10 x 11 inches. Courtesy of Soloway.]
According to curator John O’Donnell:
The works answer these questions in three ways, first by referencing the limitations of their structures (“the frame”), second by exploiting the physicality of their surfaces (“the canvas”) and third by employing painterly strategies that enter the arena of the aesthetic realm (“the concept or idea”). Breaking down a painting into its anatomical parts—“bones,” “flesh” and “brain,” the exhibition recasts these concrete terms more playfully.
The stake of this show is to recognize a painting that might appear lazy, hip or naïve as a measured strategy or intelligent vehicle for challenging the tradition of what it means to be a painting. These artists trouble the notion that a painting must be a stoic representation of reality. Rather, they pursue casual abstraction as a method for depicting “reality” by questioning recognizable material, concepts and everyday forms.
Please join us for the Curator’s Talk and Opening Reception on Friday, February 7, 5-8pm.
Smart Painting,” curated by John O’Donnell. Artspace, New Haven, CT. February 7 through March 22, 2014.
Note that on Tuesday, March 4, In addition to an artists’ talk for the show, Sharon Louden and Sharon Butler (me) will be holding a conversation and booksigning for Living and Sustaining a Creative Life, Essays by Forty Working Artists. Louden edited the book and I contributed an essay.
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