Painting on Edge is a small survey of new trends in Hard Edge painting, or what might be better called, painting with edges, lines, stripes and bands. Unlike the ideologically bound practices of modernism and postmodernism, the work in Painting on Edge shows a new openness towards the fabulation of Hard Edge painting without a readily identifiable ethos. If there have been three high moments in the history of Hard Edge painting so far — its founding here in California, its mutability as a program of making from late Ab-Ex through Minimalism and its eventual critique by Neo-Geo — then today we see an entirely new set of sensibilities at play in the genre.
This is perhaps best represented by the artists in this show that openly mix the gestural and the graphic, patterns and process, and systems and topology. While all of the works in this show attempt to rework the geometric tradition in one way or another, there is nothing dogmatic or orthodox about their approach. As such, the artists in Painting on Edge are not just challenging traditional boundaries, but their work sits on the edge of many boarding discourses, caught somewhere between essentialism and transcendentalism, power and design, a rigorous application and the production of aesthetic delight. At a time when cultural production carries so much baggage from the twentieth century, the artists in Painting on Edge show us another way to travel light in heading for places unknown, where the journey of making is a delicate balancing act between absolute precision and unlimited permissions.