Painting

Internationally Acclaimed Artists and High Earners

“Naturally, when re-evaluating the canon of the last five decades, there were notable omissions. The group failed to name many artists who most certainly had an impact on how we view art today: Bigger names of recent Museum of Modern Art retrospectives, internationally acclaimed artists and high earners on the secondary market were largely excluded. Few paintings were singled out; land art was almost entirely absent, as were, to name just a few more categories, works on paper, sculpture, photography, fiber arts and outsider art...
TLF: There aren’t that many paintings on the lists.
KT: No. Wow. I didn’t realize that until two days later. I love painting, it’s just not here.
TLF: Is painting not — Torey, you’re a painter — contemporary?
TT: It’s old. I don’t know. I tried to look at what types of painting happened and then see who started it.
RT: I put Guston on my list.
David Breslin: On my longer list, I had Gerhard Richter’s Baader-Meinhof cycle [a series of paintings titled “October 18, 1977,” made by Richter in 1988, based on photographs of members of the Red Army Faction, a German left-wing militant group that carried out bombings, kidnappings and assassinations throughout the 1970s]. It speaks to the history of countercultural formation. How, if one decides not to peaceably demonstrate, what the alternatives are. How, in many ways, some of those things could only be recorded or thought about a decade-plus later. So, how can certain moments of participatory action be thought about in their time, and then also in a deferred moment?
KT: I thought of all the women painters. I thought of Jacqueline HumphriesCharline von HeylAmy SillmanLaura Owens. Women taking up the very difficult task of abstraction and bringing some meaning to it. That, to me, feels like important terrain women have staked out in a really serious way. Maybe one or two of those people deserve to be on this list, but somehow I didn’t put them on.
DB: It’s that problem of a body of work versus the individual.
KT: But am I going to pick one painting of Charline’s? I can’t. I just saw that show at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and every painting in the last 10 years is good. Is one better than the other? It’s this kind of practice and this discourse around abstraction — and what women are doing with it — that I think is the key.” [25 Works of Art that Define the Contemporary Age]

Jacqueline Humphries’s :)green (2016)

“It seems to me that the current situation is not about available options, as Schwabsky suggests, which span a wide range of possibilities, or about a critic channeling Greenberg’s legacy and identifying the next viable tendency in art. Rather, it revolves around one fundamental question: how does an individual go about making work when a significant part of the art world believes that painting and drawing are dead? Or, to put it another way: after the death of the author, how does an individual reinstate the mantle of authorship and take responsibility for what he or she makes? Mimicking casualness or employing a machine or fabricators to make one’s work — as many critical darlings are busy doing — might be this generation’s way of shucking responsibility. Previous generations of artists, critics and curators bought into a constricted definition of what art could be, believing that history had brought them to an inevitable endgame and that any aesthetic alternative was spurious at best. But nothing, we should remind ourselves, is necessarily etched in stone.” [John Yau on Greenberg and his legacy]

“Every artist whose work derives from relational aesthetics has his or her own world of forms, his or her problematic and his or her trajectory: there are no stylistic, thematic or iconographic links between them. What they do have in common is much more determinant, namely the fact that they operate with the same practical and theoretical horizon: the sphere of interhuman relationships. Their works bring into play modes of social exchange, interaction with the viewer inside the aesthetic experience he or she is offered, and processes of communication in their concrete dimensions as tools that can to be used to bring together individuals and human groups. They therefore all work within what we might call the relational sphere, which is to today’s art what mass production was to Pop and Minimalism. They all ground their artistic practice in a proximity which, whilst it does not belittle visuality, does relativize its place within exhibition protocols. The artworks of the 1990s transform the viewer into a neighbor or a direct interlocutor. It is precisely this generation’s attitude towards communication that allows it to be defined in relation to previous generations: whilst most artists who emerged in the 1980s (from Richard Prince to Jeff Koons via Jenny Holzer) emphasized the visual aspect of the media, their successors place the emphasis on contact and tactility. They emphasize immediacy in their visual writing. This phenomenon can be explained in sociological terms if we recall that the decade that has just ended was marked by the economic crisis and did little to encourage spectacular or visionary experiments. There are also purely aesthetic reasons why this should have been the case; in the 1980s, the “back to” pendulum stopped with the movements of the 1960s and especially Pop art, whose visual effectiveness underpinned most of the forms proposed by simulationism. For better or worse, our period identifies with the Arte Povera and experimental art of the 1970s, and even with the atmosphere of crisis that went with it. Superficial as it may be, this fashion effect had made it possible to re-examine the work of artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark or Robert Smithson, whilst the success of Mike Kelley has recently encouraged a new reading of the Californian “junk art” of Paul Thek and Tetsumia Kudo. Fashion can thus create aesthetic microclimates which affect the very way we read recent history: to put it a different way, the mesh of the sieve’s net can be woven in different ways. It then “lets through” different types of work, and that influences the present in return.” [Nicolas Bourriaud on Relational Aesthetics]

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