are there common attractors in this collection of artists? Raphael Rubenstein's article in Art in America began to offer further terminology for an approach to objects that seems very contemporary. Supported by rich histories, but nonetheless a really palpable response to the age and world in which we live. We are fortunate to have said article available online. Read it here.
Rubenstein proffers the concept of "Provisional Painting" to describe the raw, off-the-cuff, direct, awkward, seemingly unfinished, approach to making paintings that has been practiced by Joan Miro, Christopher Wool and Mary Heilmann, as well as new names (to me) like Albert Oehlen and Richard Aldrich.
Untitled (Wouldn't You Miss Me?)
2006, collage on linen
This builds on some discussions that, for me, began with the Hirshhorn's exhibition "The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas," and the accompanying catalogues. The seminal exhibition thus far (in the U.S.) has been "Unmonumental" in the New Museum. For me, the youthful godheads of this approach to working are Gedi Sibony and Mathilde du Sordet (*thanks to zach rawe and nick hill for bringing du Sordet to my attention).
I liked how Tracy Johnson, an artist and friend of mine (former professor) commented that when she read Rubenstein's piece, there was a kind of aha, "oh. that's what they call it." I appreciate that there is a discussion that isolates what is happening right now among these artists from their heritage (obvious references to Arte Povera, Scatter Art, readymades, postminimalism, etc.). I find the subtle gesture that blithely resituates real vernacular objects and materials dreadfully appealing.