An Outmoded Medium

David Reed #640 2012-2014

Painting was under attack as an outmoded medium in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the experimental painting that interested me was caught in the middle. lt was condemned by the conservative defenders of tradition, who used outmoded definitions and old-fashioned criteria to make judgments against it. At the same time, it was dismissed by those who did not see how painting could be connected to other forms of experimental art. For these critics, no kind of painting was possible. Such attacks stemmed from a lack of understanding and sympathy for experimental painting, or from ideological turf wars and posturing. Often, experimental painting was not acknowledged because in such an old and distinguished, male-dominated medium, the innovations had come from unexpected, new sources – women, blacks, lesbians, gays, counterculture radicals, and bohemian sensualists. These attacks, however, did not stop the artists from painting.” [David Reed Streets and Studios]

Sean Scully Landline Strand 2017

It [art] is process and product in relation to the weight and continuum of history. That’s a huge burden to take on, but it’s a burden that is interesting and can make our culture so interesting. To try to make a culture where people are detached from history is not only unrewarding, but is potentially dangerous. It is like knowing nothing about the Parthenon, nothing about the birth of Democracy, knowing nothing about the Age of Reason, knowing nothing about the Industrial Revolution, knowing nothing about the Holocaust. It makes for an empty life and for an empty culture. I think they are not even particularly concerned with product. What they’re concerned with is the effect that something can have, and only that. It is a pure and unbridled form of capitalism. It is pure exploitation. To give one example, it is exactly the equivalent, in the political sense, as taking out as much as possible from the rain forest. Without any idea of what happened before and what could happen afterwards, it is like making art that has no sense of consequentiality. It is not only a question of its relation to history; I’m talking about history as something that is going to be in the future too. We’re going to have more history in the future. What these guys are doing is trying to make five-year careers. It is pure capitalism. [Sean Scully in conversation with R. Eric Davis]

Kour Pour Dragons & Genies 2012-13

“I think the fine art establishment has sort of diluted art and robbed it of its purpose. Art existing solely as decoration is bad, but that is not to say that decorative pieces cannot say something more, cannot be more than just a pretty thing. They have isolated the one function that art has. Art has become a financial instrument. Art becomes only two things: an asset or a decoration.” [Stefan Simchowitz in conversation with Michael Porter]

Oscar Murillo Untitled (chorizo) 2012

“I just do my job and find great artists. I’m not constructing some mythological, satanic narrative…that’s all bullshit! I just try to find good artists that people like and wanna hang on their walls. It’s pretty simple. I’m not trying to find art that a curator has to write a 10-page essay on and the museum has to show so that the bourgeois connoisseur can say “Oh, look I bought this piece of dog crap we can put in the corner of our toilets, that I don’t understand”. I like stuff you can put on walls and then you look at it and say “Wow, this is cool”. Art has a decorative component that is very important. The wealthy don’t buy art because museums have it, they buy it to decorate their homes. The Mark Rothko function has a decorative function.” [Stefan Simchowitz in conversation with Frederic Clad]

Henri values your comments!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.