New American Paintings/Blog


Painting as Shorthand: the lawn chair sculptures of Patrick McDonough by New American Paintings
May 8, 2013, 8:30 am
Filed under: Features | Tags: ,

Patrick McDonough’s lawn chairs are not meant for sitting. And if they begin to seem functional, well, it’s all pretend. The sculptures offer the formal concepts of lawn chairs without actually closing the deal — legs and armrests have gone missing, for starters, and the works themselves are decidedly non functional. Instead of functionality McDonough is interested in their allusions to an American iconography of leisure. Take a look at them and it’s not difficult to imagine the smell of freshly cut grass or the skyward boom of summertime fireworks. It’s part of what the artist describes as his overarching interest in the aesthetics of free time. But there’s something else that’s also at work here; each piece has a significant stake in pure color, in hard edged geometry, and in the rectangular chromatic plane. You won’t need to dig too deep before you start thinking of abstract painting. – Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. Contributor

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Patrick McDonough| 122909-lawn chair, Wood, Paint, Outdoor Furniture Fabric, Hardware 

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Matthew Smith’s Concrete Abstract at Heiner Contemporary by New American Paintings

Our DC Blog Contributor, Matthew Smith, has curated a fantastic group exhibition at Heiner Contemporary called, Concrete Abstract, which runs through April 20th. In the show, which includes artists Seth Adelsberger, Lisa Dillin, Jeremy Flick, Steven Frost, Sue Johnson, Becca Kallem, Patrick McDonough, Danielle Mysliwiec, and Matthew Smith, the curator “…explores the confluence of abstraction with the everyday” As the press release continues, “The works in the show cultivate a non-representational visual language that emerges from familiar ready-made objects, whether these objects are found or alluded to compositionally. Their formal and functional properties provide the contextual framework for works that are ultimately understood visually via their entanglement with abstraction, even as they remain securely tethered to the real, concrete world.”

After the jump, see more images from the exhibition and read more from the press release.

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Jeremy Flick | Contrapuntal Derivation no. 744703807, 2013, acrylic and gouache on panel, 8 x 8 inches

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Emerging Again: D.C.’s (e)merge Goes Into Its Second Year by New American Paintings

Last year’s preview night at (e)merge was a big, ruckus party. Amidst the large crowds it was often difficult to navigate the hallways between exhibitors, and the wait for the elevators always seemed impossibly long. While it may have been loads of fun for those of us sipping PBRs by the pool, perusing and buying artwork that evening seemed to require a bit more resolve and determination. This year, the second for (e)merge, the crowds on preview night were noticeably thinned, particularly among the younger set who were likely turned off by the $45 admission price ($60 at the door). The new cover charge seemed like a calculated move by organizers, one of a handful of changes that made this year’s event seem more streamlined and manageable for exhibitors and visitors alike. Whether these changes translated into more sales is anybody’s guess, but sales may not be the right metric to measure the success of (e)merge. At least not yet. — Matthew Smith, Washington, D.C. contributor (All photos by Matthew except where indicated)


Chajana denHarder performing Singularity (Artist Platform). Photo by Tony Wilson

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