New American Paintings/Blog

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.

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

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Wrestling with Painting: Steven Frost by openstudiospress

Steven Frost, An Audience & Lines to Speak, 2011 | Foam padding, pleather, straight pins, thread, 48 x 82 x 3 inches. Courtesy the artist.

Last Friday in Chicago, once crowds had abandoned the aisles of endless booths at the Art Chicago and NEXT fairs, the biggest opening in the city was the annual Thesis Exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. (And as someone who was there last year, it’s safe to admit the crowd this year had reached unparalleled size, making the crowd at Merchandise Mart look like a knitting circle.) The scale of the 2011 SAIC Thesis Show, and the number of MFA grads itself, had grown so immensely this year that, for the first time, two sites were necessary to exhibit all the work.

With our new MFA Annual currently on newsstands, we’ve had our eye on young MFA candidates for a while, and I was excited to take in some new work. Standing out from the pack were a group of artists (including Jesse Butcher, David R. Harper, Ivan Lozano, and Soo Shin) whose sparse — and spacious — group installation, The World is Not a Calm Place, was, in fact, a much-needed calm from the storm. Featured in the center, Steven Frost‘s installation of sculptural, fiber-based objects revealed subtle painterly qualities through the use of black sequins, pleather, and everyday materials.

Also featured at Swimming Pool Project Space in the GOFFO section at NEXT that weekend, Frost and I spoke this week about his practice, Lucha Libre, sequins, and BDSM (oh, and painting). More after the jump!

Evan J. Garza, Editor-at-Large

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