Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

The studio pages on AGYU's studioblog, alongside actual interviews, are so refreshing. They also lack the forced full-frontal zoo-like featuring of artists that is so prevalent within other sources, which usually allow for merely a snippet about the artist's work.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

(image source)

Over at 'Writers & Company' is a wonderful podcast of an interview with artist and writer Lynda Barry!

In the interview: Lynda's intelligence and openness about the origins and circumstances of depression and a constant search for play and stories. "Autobiofictionalography". "hard is the head of Lynda, oh my!". Loneliness as the "maker of the soul", "things being incredibly alive". Associative detail about how things feel, combined with critical and reflective theories about how this works, driven by an insatiable curiosity about these workings. I loved her talk about mirroring, narcissists, and vampires. Characters as making worlds possible. Puberty as an existential want-ad. In childhood "you can't drive away".

This is what happens when you meet Lynda Barry.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Conceptual Figuration

(selection of figurative painting part I)

By accident while looking up Anders Oinonen's website, I found a few links to recent exhibitions of figurative painting, which then led me to Kurt Kauper's panel discussion related to the traveling exhibition 'Conceptual Figures':

"Conceptual Figures, an exhibition of new conceptually based figurative painting, opens on September 4th at Deitch Projects. The twelve artists in the exhibition are fusing two seemingly contradictory approaches to art, Conceptualism and Illusionism. Painting is approached as an intellectual construct rather than as a visual impression of a live model. This does not mean that the resulting images are the product of rational thought. The current strand of Conceptualism reaches back through the pre-rational mind, becoming almost metaphysical. Conceptual figuration builds on the innovations of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray. It represents a break with the impressionistic and expressionist traditions of modern figuration. The emerging generation of painters featured in this exhibition embraces the innovations of Karen Kilimnik, John Currin, and Glenn Brown pushing figuration further toward the uncanny. Their realism extends their vision into the unreal. Previous generations
of figurative painters explored the position of painting after photography. This generation is refining the position of painting after Photoshop. All of the artists in the exhibition, with the exception of Anders Oinonen, who lives in Canada, are working in New York. Most of them are recent graduates of New York area art schools. Several of the artists participated in the Conceptual Figuration seminar taught by Kurt Kauper at Yale. Kauper, whose work is also included in this exhibition, has been a leader in articulating a new conceptual approach to figurative painting."

(selection of figurative painting part II)

I'm interested here in the language used to describe figurative painting under the term 'conceptual figuration'. Some examples of what I found were "painting as a history of suggestions for how presentation and meaning, form and content should intersect, using representation to point always to its status as a construct", "doppelganger protagonist[s], stretched out and bulging, to explore imaginary worlds of posthippie spirituality", "conceptual figures inhabit a liminal world that includes elements of the supernatural", and "the face as an arrangement of just so many slabs of color, and uses illusionistic shadow effects and visual puns to play with the face as fantasy landscape".

Other group exhibitions of contemporary figurative painting found:

"MAIL ORDER MONSTERS", Max Wigram gallery, London, 2008
"Tapping into an underground music and graffiti vibe the selection of works in the show also finds reference in computer-programme aesthetics. Taking its title from a 1980s videogame (which allowed you to build your own monster) the show suggests an approach to the figuration in contemporary art practice which brings together fictional fantasy with the post-human figure of techno-dystopia, depicting the body as broken, decaying, uncanny and monstrous."

"ambivalent figuration;people", Samson Projects, Boston, 2008
"Samson Projects is proud to present an exhibition treating figurative painting. All representation is political. It doesn’t matter how i/you look, that presupposes i/you want i/you to like the way i/you look. Alliterative need: formality is not form. Partner to Partner; you will never know a person like I do. A friend of yours can be positively fully yours, and never mine..."

"REFLEXIVE FIGURATIONS II", Exhibition March 17 - April 24, 2000
"An actual art of painting should combine the logic of the abstract gaze and, the knowing of the iconografical canons. A painterly attitude, which can be indicated as reflexive figurating, because of this stratification."

(selection of figurative painting part III)

I also found two of Kurt Kauper's lesson plans for a Figurative Painting course at Yale, which you can read in FULL, complete with reading lists, here, and here.

(selection of figurative painting part IV)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

found project:

the New Research in Abstraction group, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada

"Young artists who have completed their education but are not yet fully established in their careers are invited to Waterloo. They set their own direction and work independently within the parameters of the project in a studio shared with other fellows and with former University of Waterloo faculty member Robert Linsley.
The goal of the research is to renew the practice of abstract art. For us, abstraction means art that avoids representation or narrative, and instead works with fundamental properties of art such as space, light, matter and illusion.
The traditional craft of applying coloured material to a flat surface is only one of the possible technologies of painting. Paintings can fill space, or move through time; they can take a place in the world with other things or they can dwell in the realm of perceptual illusions. The work here is not restrict itself to any single style or method but is concerned with whether painting brought down to its essence can teach us fundamental truths about ourselves and the world."

"Some of the fellowships go to young scholars, to encourage writing on the areas of interest and to help develop a critical context for the artist fellows.
There are regular visiting artists and scholars who work in relevant areas, and the fellows have an opportunity to interact with these visitors."

See participating artists here, and access available essays here.

Essays and articles by Jan Verwoert, Scott Lyall, Robert Linsley, Joseph Drapell, David Moos, Shepherd Steiner, Andreas Neufert, Wojciech Olejnik, and others.
found symposium:

The University of Guelph's School of Fine Art and Music in collaboration with the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre is pleased to present an international symposium on painting:

Mixing the Message: Painting and Translation
With Keynote Speaker, Ralph Rugoff (Hayward Gallery, UK)

MacDonald Stewart Art Centre
358 Gordon Street, Guelph, Ontario

Friday March 20, 2009, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Open to the public and free of charge.

Reserve your seat with a request to: mixing.the.message@gmail.com

"Photography, cinema, video and conceptual art have each, in their own way, challenged painters to redraw the map of the visible using painting's own tools. The question to be debated concerns the vital relationship between painting and those media once thought to assure its demise. Can one visual language ‘translate' to another? ? Is renewal in painting possible through negotiations with other media? Artists and speakers from the UK, Germany, USA and Canada will investigate."

"Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery, London, UK, will give the keynote address: "Photography by other means". Caroline A. Jones Professor of Art History (MIT), will discuss "Artist and System: translation, or mediation?"; and Sky Glabush of the University of Western Ontario will speak on "Pictorial construction after the conceptual gesture". Berlin-based painter, Katrin Plavcak will talk about her own image-rich paintings with Robert Enright, Senior Contributing Editor to BorderCrossings magazine. In addition, Toronto-based artist Stephen Andrews will present his work, Lee L'Clerc (University of Guelph) will challenge the notion of translation as it pertains to the visual; Pete Smith, an independent artist and writer will speak on Guston, Lichtenstein and the Painted Cartoon; and Beth Stuart, an MFA candidate will look at cinematic space and time in contemporary painting."

Respondents for the panels and papers include: Gerta Moray (OCAD), Dan Adler (York University), Martin Pearce (University of Guelph) and Robert Linsley (independent).

For a complete listing visit http://www.uoguelph.ca/sofam/

Press contact: Monica Tap mtap@uoguelph.ca

Sunday, March 01, 2009

found symposium:

The Department of Visual Arts of the University of Ottawa is please to present the Symposium: “Issues in Contemporary Painting”

March 7th, 2009, 10AM – 4PM
University of Ottawa, Desmarais Building (55 Laurier Ave. East) Room 3120

Open to the public and free of charge
Seating is limited. R.S.V.P. mlea055@uottawa.ca

(work by Eliza Griffiths; image source)

"Painting has been declared dead many times in the past. With a recent revival of painting in the contemporary art scene, some important issues have surfaced. Among issues to be discussed are:

“Imi Knoebel and Iain Baxter: Painting, Obscurity and the Future”
Keynote Speaker: Dr. David Moos
Curator of Contemporary Art, Art Gallery of Ontario

“Authorship in Painting” by Joanne Tod, University of Toronto
"Discussion around the issue of authorship in painting: The Damian Hirst and Jeff Koons model (massive workshop production) vs. the Jenny Saville and Chuck Close model (solitary artist production). Some questions to be tackled are: In a smaller buying market, might there be more demand for “original” product? Would there be new criteria for judging “quality”? Furthermore, the future of the art/world/market will be discussed."

“The Multiple Faces of Contemporary Painting: speculations on the heterogeneity and coherence of critically engaged painting practices” by Eliza Griffiths, Concordia University
"With a particular focus on selected figurative and representational painters, Eliza Griffiths will examine some of the diverse approaches and common conversations underlying the work of contemporary painters whose work is conceptually activated through their engagement with central concerns and strategies of painting such as material processes and physical presence; representational play; abstraction and pictorial space."

“On the Outskirts” by Michel Daigneault, York University
"Much of the discourse of painting has been obsessed with making clear distinctions between abstraction and representational painting. Michel Daigneault will present a survey of a pictorial space where visual signs circulate between abstraction and representation. He will look at the migration of painted details from representational to abstract painting and the radical shift that has occurred in their meaning. He will discuss how this space is on the outskirts of both modernism and postmodernism."