“They may be cold, they may be as objective as a laboratory experiment, they may say nothing about the spiritual goals that have concerned great art of the past. But they are at least an art, or a craft, truly of our time,” John Canaday wrote in 1965 of MoMA’s op art exhibition “The Responsive Eye.” Mixed Greens’s present show “Post-Op” (on view through August 17th) seems to second that thought for 2012, but this time, without the punch. Since being written-off by many critics, Op’s life has, for a while, popularly been linked more to drug culture andadvertising than the art world. Mixed Greens’s handful of work instead documents the movement’s silent, pervasive seeping-into highbrow culture. - Whitney Kimball, NYC Contributor
Filed under: Art World, New York | Tags: Anna Plesset, Collin Hatton, Corydon Cowansage, Field Kallop, Katie Bell, Keith Allyn Spencer, Mike Schbreiber, Mixed Greens, Nell Painter, New Insight, New York, NEXT, RISD
Katie Bell, Breaker, 2011 | Vinyl, acrylic, foam, rope and paper. Approx. 9 x 10 feet. Courtesy Mixed Greens, New York.
There have been countless MFA thesis shows around the country since May, but few have been as captivating or as relevant as that of the RISD Painting MFA 2011 grads on view at Mixed Greens in New York. (And even fewer are still on view through July.) Hailing from the Rhode Island School of Design, the show features work by Corydon Cowansage, Collin Hatton, Field Kallop, Nell Painter, Anna Plesset, Mike Schbreiber, Keith Allyn Spencer, and Katie Bell, who we recently saw in the annual New Insight show of promising MFA candidates, curated by Susanne Ghez for NEXT Chicago.
If the work by artists in Small Crowd is any indication of what’s taking place in MFA painting programs across the country, the outlook is good. Abstraction is unsurprisingly favored over figuration here, and wielded by Hatton, Kallop, Spencer and others. Contemporary painters are frequently returning to ideas of the painting as object, an approach used by Bell and Plesset, and to brilliant effect.
More pics after the jump! —Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large
Filed under: Q&A | Tags: Art Lies, collage, Evan J. Garza, fashion, Mixed Greens, Picasso, sculpture, Zane Lewis
Zane Lewis wants to go the distance. He admittedly thinks like a DJ when creating his work, a veritable zoo of different painterly and sculptural methods that are equally chaotic as they are startlingly refined. (“Zany” would almost be too appropriate here.) Featured in editions #66 and #72 of New American Paintings, Lewis has taken the last year to remove himself from the “gallery game” to focus on making new work. Not long for any one specific studio practice, Lewis is constantly changing his work, moving from method to method, in search of a more challenging application and context. Featured in 2006 as a “(23-Year-) Old Master” in The Wall Street Journal, I caught up with the New York-based San Antonio native last week to find out what he’s been up to and why he’s into “wall power”. —Evan J. Garza
EJG: Tell me about what you’ve been working on recently.
My work has changed so significantly this last year, at least it feels like that for me. Obviously there’s conceptual and aesthetic threads that remain, but it’s very different from the type of work I was making when I was featured in New American Paintings. One year I got the back cover [of the magazine], and it was a large image of a detail shot of one of my drip paintings. They were these paint my number pieces that looked like they were spilling paint out of the shadowboxes they were in. And then when I got the cover [of #72], it was the cut painting style of work with the cut Paris Hilton piece. I am no longer making either of those bodies of work. (Laughing)
Paris, 2007 | Cut acrylic paint, 63 x 63 inches
I tend to work like that as an artist. I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of coming up with a certain way of working that’s approaching things in an unconventional way, dishing it out, doing a series, and then I get bored and I want to move on and I want to kind come up with something new and stimulating for me in a new way. So I haven’t made the cut paint paintings in about two years now, and longer since I made the paint by number paintings. I do typically, in my work, have that drip aesthetic. That is still there.