New American Paintings/Blog

Michael Berryhill’s tabletops by openstudiospress

Michael Berryhill, Conceiving The Design, 2011 | Oil on linen on panel, 16 x 16 inches. Courtesy Horton Gallery, New York.

Michael Berryhill, a painter who still values a good struggle in his work, has several fine, small-scale paintings in Monkey Wrench, a group show at Horton Gallery, through July 22. Heavily worked and overpainted (in a good way), the paintings depict tabletop objects in the studio, some of which are identifiable, and others which aren’t. Although painters are going through a period in which contingency and ennui are hot, I predict that struggle and tenacity may be right around the corner.  

Sharon L. Butler (via Two Coats of Paint)

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Sharon L. Butler: The New Casualists by openstudiospress

Rebecca Morris, Untitled (#06-10), 2010 | Oil on canvas, 59 × 59 inches.

The pioneers of abstraction—the Cubists, the Abstract Expressionists, the Minimalists—emerged from firm and identifiable aesthetic roots and developed their own philosophies. In the competitive maelstrom of 20th century art, those philosophies became dogmas, and the dogmas outright manifestos. In the new century, many abstract painters are saying goodbye to all that didactic thinking and exuding a kind of calculated tentativeness. Raphael Rubinstein, in a 2009 Art in America essay and for a 2011 painting exhibition he curated in London, dubbed this new type of abstraction “provisional painting.” Similarly, artist and critic Stephen Maine homed in on the “incipient image” in a March 2011 show he curated at Lesley Heller. And the Brooklyn curatorial team Progress Report (aka Kris Chatterson and Vince Contarino) styled its survey of contemporary abstraction at the Bronx River Art Center The Working Title. All three labels suggest the centrality of the open proposition in contemporary abstraction.  

—Sharon L. Butler (via Two Coats of PaintThe Brooklyn Rail)

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