I began as a mark-maker and I wanted to stay somewhat in that vocabulary. I didn’t want to get into the tradition of figure painting or use perspective or shadows. I like spare, simple paintings. I admire Rose Wylie’s work so much. When I want more courage, I look at the way she draws a leg. It is even one step farther than Philip Guston. She’s very personal. She’s invented a way to make paintings and paint figures.
These are very brave ways to make a painting. And that gave me the self-confidence to do that myself – to not try for it to be right, but to make it expressive of something. I think about why we love Judy Garland so much. It’s because she’s so open. She’s so human. She’s not perfect. I think at the end of the day, what people admire and value is personal openness. [Katherine Bradford in conversation with Jennifer Samet]
Reviving once great artistic styles can be a fraught pursuit, whether or not they are part of an artist’s cultural heritage. Such styles must be transformed into something personal and contemporary that ideally also survives comparison with its inspiration. In her second solo show at this gallery, subtitled “How Iraqi Are You?” Hayv Kahraman largely pulls off this difficult feat, building on the refined figuration of Persian miniatures that are part of her Iraqi background. In Ms. Kahraman’s hands the delicacy and stylization of the source are writ large and on raw linen — evoking the pages of a Persian album — and complicated with allusions to other times, places and styles. The paintings depict pairs and groups of nearly identical women who may or may not be in a harem. Shown in conversation or listening to one of their number, these women have pale skin, gestures and becalmed features that recall both the female subjects of Renaissance painting and the powdered geisha of Japanese woodblocks. Their articulated hands seem puppetlike. Their largely strapless gowns and black bouffants seem of recent American vintage even as the fabric patterns of their gowns elaborate a veritable lexicon of Arabic geometric decoration. [Roberta Smith on Hayv Kahraman]
An allergy is an uncontrolled negative emotional response towards some idea or person. It’s the gut-wrenching feeling that a person you dislike provokes in you, or the feeling of anger and discontent certain ideas or concepts can spawn.
We all have these emotions, but the metamodernist has developed its mind (what researchers call metacognition) to keep these allergies in check, so as not to let them pollute the capability to make objective judgments and fair analysis. The wisdom is, just because something makes you feel bad, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
It’s not your feeling towards something that makes it right or wrong, no, determining the truth and value of something must be based on careful analysis. The trick is to know when your brain is bullshitting you, often one’s emotions will seduce reason to construct truths that correspond with that intuitive feeling. That’s ok if it’ll lead you towards good arguments, but you need to be aware that, that’s what’s going on – that your brain is biased and your emotions don’t tell the whole truth. To be aware of your emotion’s impact on the way you’re thinking is a personal development stage towards a metamodern mindset. Don’t bullshit yourself; become aware of your emotions. [Hanzi Freinacht on Metamodernism]
Drawing on influences such as R. Crumb, Francisco Goya, and MAD Magazine, with an ice-cold splash of Dutch style — e.g. Pieter Brueghel, Hans Memling, and the Van Eycks — Morgan shakes the bottle and pours out a delicious mixture of exaggerated bumpkin-looking characters. This is evident in Family Reunion (2016), which depicts a trio of all-American country folk indulging in a buffet of cake, soda, corn, and Cheezies Puffs snacks, some of which are served on a matriarch’s saggy, bra-less breasts — yummy!
All of the manically detailed complexity and bright color of Morgan’s work may make viewers envy the pair of awesome shades worn by a stoned young man in After Work Sunset (2016). Although the characters are made comically freakish, Morgan’s cartoonish renderings are imbued with a proud sense of charming guilelessness and self-acceptance. In a 2015 interview with Priscilla Frank for The Huffington Post Morgan says, “These characters are blissfully unaware, unruly, wild, and untamed. They are off the grid and free and not affected by anyone or anything’s influence and I’m very attracted to that concept.” [Stephanie O’Connor on Rebecca Morgan]
…we can clearly get the idea that, metanarration – specific to the modernist project – is now decentralized, or simply deconstructed, and it is not surprising, as mentioned earlier, that deconstruction is playing a central role in postmodernism. On the other hand, the main concern of metamodernist sensibility, as previously outlined, is to reclaim what has been deconstructed – as if it hopes to fix it – without committing a total decline of the traits of postmodernism – the oscillation. Additionally, searching for a narration based on intersubjectivism is of essential value as to understand the promise of metamodernism, because intersubjectivity, in general sense, is an interpersonal phenomena, a shared understanding “that helps us relate one situation to another” (Bober & Dennen, 2001), moreover, it is also “central to everyday functioning; only through shared meanings can we work and build knowledge together” (Bober & Dennen, 2001). In my opinion, this mode of thought, by taking empathy seriously, can be regarded as a rather naive one, compared to the harsh, deconstructive nature of the postmodern condition, and this contrast, although not so conclusively, illustrates the claimed difference between the postmodern and the metamodern to a certain degree. [İlker Çelen on Metamodernism]
Nisenbaum taught English by way of feminist art history, using the politics of representation as a frame for language instruction. In order to get to know her students outside the context of the class, she asked if she could paint their portraits. The paintings give form to the evolving relationships between the artist and her subjects and among the subjects themselves: Individuals are shown in quiet states of interiority and imagination, and in portraits of two or more people, bodies typically support each other. Veronica, Marissa, and Gustavo, 2013, represents three members of a family variously touching, leaning against, and slinging their arms over one another—and since they are rendered almost without contour, it takes a moment to discern which limbs belong to whom. In keeping with the feminist starting point of her project, Nisenbaum’s work celebrates interdependent ways of being, as opposed to a defensive posture of self-sufficiency and sovereignty. Indeed, the understanding of the subject in relational terms implicit in her practice brings to mind Judith Butler’s positive concept of vulnerability: Emphasizing its foundation in receptivity and responsiveness, Butler posits that it is a precondition for mobilization and resistance. [Emily Liebert on Aliza Nisenbaum]