Monday, April 23, 2012

Forget everything I've been saying, and just read this

This recent Katherine Bradford review by John Yau (Hyperallergic blog) sums up so much. It's insightful, concise, and even has a conglomerate dissing of  Eric Fischl, Celine Dion, and Tiger Woods. 

In regard to the generation of women painters who have come into their own after they turned fifty, and to the flawed mindset that negates such occurrences, he says: "Their presence argues for a thorough reevaluation of the canonical thinking that has prevailed in America since the early days of Pop Art. That bankrupt narrative, based on the rather flimsy, narcissistic assumption that the art world got it right the first time, with its own obsession with surface and spectacle, leaves little room for the quiet adventurousness and formal variety of these artists' explorations."

It's important to note that it is the nature in which this group of painters are working, that I find fascinating, and that resonates with me. It's not simply a kinship of clan, or of sameness.

Again, John Yau says it best (this after pointing out that we are in an era where nobody knows what is going on; we have no central paradigm): "The possibility that one could be independent; that one doesn't have to belong to any stylistic tendency or group; and that one need not ally oneself with any of the currently fashionable discourses, is both liberating and daunting, but why should it be any other way? Given the openness of the territory, one should not be surprised by how many artists find a way to be a conceptual artist that paints, for example."

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Herron "Beyond Campus" Shows + a rant

A nice list of shows featuring  Herron-linked artists, including the above. For some time now, I've noticed that the academic realm of art has become more progressive and alternative than so-called "cutting edge" art. I'm speaking mainly of local developments here in the Indy art scene ('development' being a very apt term here). Cutting edge entertainment art has become a hot commodity, and is linked both to specific real estate investments and to a broader drive to pump and pimp the city.

On the social conscious front, others are trying to guilt us into making our art "do" something that provides a tangible, overt community benefit.

And sometimes these "help our neighborhoods" people, and the investors, are the same folks.  

Neither drive is the world's worst evil, but both are parasitic. Art has worth without these justifications, and while it can be used to many means, it also has an amazing intrinsic value. Few things in our modern life have intrinsic value. Most have value that is derived from context, or branding, or some sort of identity-dependent system of belief. The academic art system, with all its dogmatic tendencies, provides a buffer against all the opportunistic bullshit. It has become an oasis of sorts, where art can flourish

I spent 10+ years after graduation trying to unlearn so much, but now the university system seems to hold so much potential for real artistic investigations. I'm going to try to see as many of these thesis shows as possible.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Night Driving" at Dewclaw

 Anita Giddings' painting show opened at Dewclaw last Friday night, with a really nice flow of guests. "Night Driving" is a group of paintings that were triggered by a drift-driving experience she had had a few years ago. It's a really nice show that works very well in the space. More here and here.