The Edge of Abstraction
Hopstreet kindly invites you to the opening of the group exhibition 'The Edge Of Abstraction' on Saturday 25 May from 14 till 19 h.
In his 1995 video Painter, Paul McCarthy is dressed as a disturbing, overblown absurdist cliché of an artist and is filmed in a cheap studio. He smears paint on a canvas with an oversized brush, mumbling “God” and blowing raspberries. He rubs a giant paint-tube against a canvas with his body like a sexed-up cat against a pole. The result is an abstract painting – the most ridiculous form of artwork McCarthy could think to parody. Yet over ten years later something has happened. Abstract painting feels fresh again.
Contemporary abstract painting is different to previous incarnations for a few reasons. It did not emerge in opposition to representational painting. It’s not like we are living in times where painted images of the world are dominant. The grand history of paint is also not the point. It’s almost 100 years since Kazimir Malevich painted “Black Square”, and its utopian aspects feel old-fashioned. Gone is the enticing communist idea that anti-representation meant anti-establishment. The modernist abstract paintings of the 1930s and 40s, the minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s, even the neo-abstraction of the 1980s seem long past. And yet regular visitors to exhibitions or art fairs today can’t help but notice the prominence of abstract artworks on the walls.
The Edge Of Abstraction highlights a real sense of cross-media experimentation around contemporary abstract art. The main thing this new generation of artists is using to rethink abstraction is an emphasis on Process with a capital P. The journey appears to be the focus far more than the results these days. There is a fascination with materials that borders on fetishism. How the work is made is arguably the whole point.
(text fragment by Francesca Gavin in http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/15728/1/the-return-of-abstract-art )