"anything from petals to pee"

close

At Campfire you can interact with other members of the COMPANY tribe, share ideas, and discuss. Post anything you want (respectfully please) about artwork you've seen, artists you love, opinions and critiques, rants and support of events you're attending...the forum is yours.

Click on +SPEAK UP to start a new campfire. Start a conversation by writing text, uploading an image, or by copying an article to share. See something inspiring? Click on an image to the right to jump straight to that mini- campfire and then click +ADD COMMENT and join the discussion.

Campfires are sorted by most recent post. An archive of older discussions can be found below.

DON'T HAVE AN ACCOUNT? Create an Account >

Registration is free and will give you full access
to everything Welcome to Company has to offer

"anything from petals to pee"

there was a interesting review of the show “Unpainted Paintings,”  in New York magazine this weekend

 

The history of modernism reads like an aesthetic Book of the Dead. At the first glimmering of photography, painter Paul Delaroche fretted, “From today, painting is dead.” In 1912, ­Duchamp mused, “Painting is washed up.” Aleksandr Rodchenko pronounced his 1921 monochromes “the end of painting.” Critic Harold Rosenberg was fond of a line, popular among the AbEx crowd, declaring that the painting of “Newman had closed the door, Rothko had pulled down the shades, and Reinhardt had turned out the lights.” And Rein­hardt himself once said, “I am merely making the last painting which anyone can make.”

That was not, of course, what happened, but such exaggerations do provide a backdrop for “Unpainted Paintings,” a rousing group show of art stars, underdogs, and newcomers organized by Palazzo Grassi curator Alison Gingeras. The show’s 37 works date from 1954 to the present and track what happened after the big bang of Pollock’s drips. Essentially, artists like ­Martin Kippenberger, Mike Kelley, Steven Parrino, and Blinky Palermo went around the dilemma of “What next?,” riffing with rubber, garbage, beads, buttons and burlap, stainless steel, even urine. Yves Klein traded his brush for a blowtorch. Robert Rauschenberg used gold leaf. Paul ­McCarthy poured chocolate on carpet. ­David Hammons used Kool-Aid to make a candy-colored Rothko.

A lot of the work in “Unpainted” is hard to take—even ugly. Some of it looks like junk. But much of it I love because it shows how fluid and uncanny beauty and form can be. Sit with the work here and you will find you are using your imagination more than your eyes. The show starts with a knee-knocking piece, just inside the door: a seventeen-foot-long Warhol “piss painting” made by Factory assistants urinating on canvas (presumably as Andy eagerly watched: “A little to the left, Gerald”; “Oh, gee, Ronnie, you missed a spot”). In these phosphoric, alchemical works, Warhol transforms studio into lavatory, piss into ready-made paint, and painting into something that is simultaneously ironic and sincere. The painting here is as exquisite as the glaze on Ming vases, as mysterious as cave painting, as strangely powerful as Christian reliquaries containing teeth and foreskins. (The streams of color in most piss paintings look like the work of men. But the puddles and ponds of the canvas in “Unpainted” make me think it was made by women.)

One of the show’s pleasant surprises is Dan Colen’s fifteen-foot Psychotic ­Reaction, made by sprinkling flower petals on canvas. Of course it literalizes Monet, apes Warhol, and clucks about the decay implicit in ­Damien Hirst’s butterfly paintings, yet the prettiness and impressive feel for the optical field suggests that Colen, whose last show was a bust, is capable of arresting conceptual work. I also love excellent new­comer Anna Betbeze’s Marble, a peltlike piece (acid-dyed and tinted with watercolor) that conjures prehistoric punk garments or a dead-Wookiee rug. It’s probably an homage to another stunner, Lynda Benglis’s tremendously influential 1969 poured-­pigment painting, Baby Contraband, which sits on a floor here; you can almost feel the frisson as the artist breaks painting out of its historical-spatial confines.

The Warhol, like most work in this show, points to a time when artists traded sincerity and authenticity for detachment and a sometimes acute self-awareness. Instead of still lifes, landscapes, and portraits, the content became about process, composition, self-criticism, tactility, humor, and the questioning of a blind faith in art. This can get monotonous, and so does “Unpainted Paintings.” But at its best, it offers a glimpse of how wild and pliable and strange art can be. One hopes you will leave understanding what Robert Rauschenberg meant when he observed, “An empty canvas is full.”

Unpainted Paintings
Luxembourg & Dayan.
Through May 27.
 

Posted by:

Comments

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.

Curated Discussion

Latest Conversation

I am self taught & i love what do. I hope you will receive these well. Thank You, Catherine
There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure nice factors in options...
It’s arduous to search out knowledgeable folks on this subject, however you sound like you...
Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So good to search out someone...
There may be noticeably a bundle to learn about this. I assume you made certain good points in...
Would you be excited about exchanging links?
There may be noticeably a bundle to find out about this. I assume you made certain nice factors in...
This actually answered my problem, thank you! Coax cable...
You made some respectable points there. I seemed on the internet for the problem and located most...
It’s hard to find knowledgeable folks on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re...
After examine a couple of of the weblog posts in your website now, and I actually like your way of...
very nice publish, i actually love this website, keep on it
This web page can be a walk-via for all of the information you wanted about this and didn’t know...
This really answered my drawback, thank you!
I found your blog web site on google and test just a few of your early posts. Proceed to keep up...
The following time I read a weblog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as a lot as this one. I...
When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new feedback are added- checkbox and now...
Spot on with this write-up, I really assume this web site wants way more consideration. I’ll in...
Aw, this was a really nice post. In concept I want to put in writing like this moreover – taking...
There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain good factors in options...
This is the proper weblog for anyone who desires to search out out about this topic. You realize a...
You should participate in a contest for probably the greatest blogs on the web. I will recommend...
A formidable share, I just given this onto a colleague who was doing just a little evaluation on...
I'm typically to blogging and i actually recognize your content. The article has really peaks my...