Golden Age is please to announce our final exhibition, Paul Theobald & Company, featuring painting, photography and sculpture from Lauren Anderson, Robin Cameron and Paul Stoelting—three young artists hinged together by an interest in anachronism.
The exhibition takes its name from the forgotten art bookshop cum gallery cum publisher located in downtown Chicago from 1936 to 1988. Paul Theobald & Company Publishers began during World War II when the supply of European art books was severed due to the ongoing international conflict. In response, Paul Theobald and Lolita Cruz Theobald began to publish works from the now-legendary artists, architects and thinkers that frequented their shop.
We invoke the legacy of Paul and Lolita Theobald, the New Bauhaus émigrés they championed–Moholy-Nagy, Kepes, Hilberseimer, Gropius, and Malevich–and the distinctly American modernism they celebrated. While Chicago can claim this history, most of the creative community would prefer that it die. Golden Age proudly adopts this legacy because death—in the way that painting is “dead” or books are “dying”—is decidedly more interesting than novelty.
With tradition, datelessness and the “anti-novel” in mind, the artists in Paul Theobald & Company use dead forms stripped of time, technique and function to communicate the experience of living in the present moment. Cameron considers the truth of presentation with palpably modern marks that conjure a sense of beauty similar to Alma Thomas, Hans Hoffman and Stuart Davis. Anderson presents a series of sandblasted glass drawings that recall the paintings of Ray Eames while resisting any easy classification. Finally, Stoelting directly links 1945 to 2011 by introducing one open, angular, three foot sculpture that contains a digitally created AbEx painting.
For us, modernism means having the authority to pick and choose from all of history, regardless of convention, and using what is most appropriate for each new project. When history is so readily available and flattened by the immediate forms of reception, anachronism characterizes our current day. We enjoy the “misplacing” of customs, people, and objects. Instead of fantasizing about traveling to 1750 with a computer, we disrupt the contemporary with books. As Golden Age comes to a close, we invite you to look to the future, by acknowledging the past.