Sunday, July 7, 2013

Reinventing Abstraction / What are they painting now?

Reinventing Abstraction  is currently on view at Cheim & Read, New York, and up through August 30, 2013.  The exhibition, curated by Raphael Rubinstein, includes paintings of Louise Fishman, Bill Jensen, Jonathan Lasker, Pat Steir, Jack Whitten, Elizabeth Murray, Carroll Dunham, Stanley Whitney, Terry Winters, Joan Snyder, David Reed, Mary Heilmann, Thomas Nozkowski, Gary Stephan, and Stephen Mueller.

As stated in the gallery press release, “This exhibition focuses on New York abstraction in the 1980s as practiced by a generation of painters born between 1939 and 1949. . . . . . . The 1939-1949 bracket encompasses a generation marked by the 1960s, by the social and political upheavals of the period. Rejecting formalism, these artists found diverse means of introducing new content into their work; their abstraction was frequently an impure abstraction. “   

By the 1980s, each of these artists had established a distinctive style. As I am always curious about the threads that weave through an artist's work over time, I've selected the work of 8 artists and paired a painting from this exhibit with a more contemporary work. 

Louise Fishman

Navigation  1981    oil on linen    25 x 22 inches     Courtesy of Cheim & Read    

Assunta  2012    oil on linen   70 x 60 inches   Courtesy of Cheim & Read  

Mary Heilmann

Rio Nido  1987     acrylic and oil on canvas    39 x 58 inches    Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Sea within a Sea  2011     oil on wood panel   24 x 30 inches   Courtesy of Hauser & Wirth

Jonathan Lasker

Double Play 1987  oil on linen   76 x 100 inches   Courtesy of Cheim & Read
Scenic Remembrance 2007   oil on linen  90 x 120 inches  Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Thomas Nozkowski

Untitled (6-30) 1988   oil on canvas board   16 x 20 inches    Courtesy of Cheim & Read 

 Untitled (9-18) 2012   oil on linen on panel    22 x 28 inches   Courtesy of Pace Gallery

                                            Pat Steir

Last Wave Painting: Wave Becoming a Waterfall 1987-88  oil on canvas  84 x 128 inches   Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Sixty by Fifty Number One  2011   oil on canvas    60 x 48 inches   Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Jack Whitten

Red, Black and Green 1979-80    acrylic and string on canvas    64 x 64 inches   Courtesy of Cheim & Read
Apps for Obama  2011    acrylic on hollow core door    84 x 91 inches   Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates

                                    Stanley Whitney

Sixteen Songs  1984   oil on linen    66 x 108 inches     Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Nigerian Smile  2012   oil on linen   72 x 72 inches   Courtesy of Team Gallery

                                      Terry Winters

Point  1985   oil on linen    102 x 69 inches    Courtesy of Cheim & Read

Tessellation Figures (4)  2011   oil on linen   80 x 76 inches    Courtesy of Mathew Marks Gallery

For more information on the exhibit Reinventing Abstraction, take a look at this article by Thomas Micchelli on Hyperallergic.   You can also view a full walk through of the exhibit on opening night by James Kalm by clicking here.