VERNACULAR: A painterly conversation about abstraction

By Janet Goleas / Shared from the Hamptons Art Hub / The four artists included in “Vernacular”—Eric Brown, Sharon Butler, Andrew Seto and Joyce Robins—at Bushwick’s Theodore:Art, approach abstraction with a shared sense of humility, materiality and ambiguity. Speaking in distinct but related painterly tongues, the works on view connect familiar idioms—minimalism, cubism, precisionism—with a … read more… “VERNACULAR: A painterly conversation about abstraction”

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Quick study: Goodbye art world, Tal R, Anselm Reyle’s fall, Hollywood agents, Lucy Lippard’s advice, and a rant about education

When twenty-somethings realize being a part of the the art world often means enduring a hard, poorly compensated, unfair existence, sometimes they decide to pursue other options. Sadly, this week Whitney Kimball announced that after writing for Art F City for four years, she is leaving the art world. Read the farewell letter in which … read more… “Quick study: Goodbye art world, Tal R, Anselm Reyle’s fall, Hollywood agents, Lucy Lippard’s advice, and a rant about education”

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Michael Voss: Beyond the absolute

The following is an interesting catalogue essay that critic Carter Ratcliff wrote for Brooklyn painter Michael Voss’s 2014 solo show at George Lawson in San Francisco. Ratcliff rightly suggests that painters aren’t resigning themselves to imperfection, but rather cultivating it. Abstract painting was born from a yearning for absolutes. In 1915 Kazimir Malevich presented his … read more… “Michael Voss: Beyond the absolute”

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Art and Film: Revenge of the casualists?

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / Joe Angio’s winning rock documentary Revenge of the Mekons concerns a defiantly non-commercial punk-era British rock band that has kept going with core members who started out as art students at the University of Leeds, along with a rotating cast, for thirty years. The filmmakers lock into the louche verve … read more… “Art and Film: Revenge of the casualists?”

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The James Kalm Report: Painting in Bushwick

“As a longtime practitioner of painting, James Kalm has seen its fortunes rise and fall with the seasons. No sooner than it’s pronounced dead than, some new iteration manifests and the whole debate begins again. Trends like “Zombie Formalism”, “Flipper Art”, “Crap on Crap” and the “New Casualism” have attracted critical attention and even sectors … read more… “The James Kalm Report: Painting in Bushwick”

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Gedi Sibony moves beyond the Provisional

Gedi Sibony continues to repurpose and recycle objects, but his new work moves considerably beyond the abject provisionality of earlier work. In Greene Naftali’s bunker-like new ground-floor space on W.26th Street, Sibony presents huge pieces of metal cut from a stash of decommisioned semi trailers. The logos and advertising text are painted out (redacted), and … read more… “Gedi Sibony moves beyond the Provisional”

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New Image Painters challenge Zombie Formalists

Galleries are trying to spread the news: dour Zombie Formalism is out; pop-inflected, often casualist, representational imagery is in. This summer Jesse Greenberg and MacGregor Harp of Brooklyn’s 247365 organized “Don’t Look Now” at Zach Feuer, a group show suggesting that a renewed interest in traditional genres–portrait, still life, landscape–is thriving within the painting community. … read more… “New Image Painters challenge Zombie Formalists”


The backstory: Supports/Surfaces survey at CANADA

In 2011, seeing a relationship to the casualist tendency in contemporary art, I posted about Claude Viallat’s work and the inventive art movement known as “Supports/Surfaces” that took hold in the mid-1960s in the south of France. Expanding the notion of painting, Supports/Surfaces artists stressed the experimental use of non-art materials and valued process over … read more… “The backstory: Supports/Surfaces survey at CANADA”


Responses to “Zombie Formalism”

 My last post precipitated several comments about Walter Robinson’s term “Zombie Formalism” and about the type of work discussed, as well as some offline discussion about labeling art movements in general. In an age supposedly marked by an inclusive, anything-goes pluralism, the arguments sparked by recent approaches to painting reveal that our “pluralistic” era isn’t … read more… “Responses to “Zombie Formalism””


Speculating on Andy Boot and Zombie Formalism

A few weeks ago, Cary Smith sent me an email with a link to Australian artist Andy Boot’s work. A scroll through his page on the Croy Nielsen website reveals how the Casualist approach can serve a transitional purpose for individual artists. Boot made loosely stretched canvas pieces back in 2008, but by 2013 had … read more… “Speculating on Andy Boot and Zombie Formalism”