An Exploration of Contemporary Abstract Paintings
Saturday, December 7th - Sunday, December 29th, 2013
Opening Reception: Saturday, December 7th 6-9PM
Curated by Eniko Imre
Ana de La Cueva, Gavin Gewecke, Nathalie Guarracino, Suzanne Laura Kammin, Franklin Perkins, Márton RomVári, Dora Tomulić, Osvaldo Valdes, Kati Vilim
Friday, December 13, 7pm
Curator Statement by Eniko Imre
The purpose of this exhibition is to make the public aware of how contemporary abstract painting plays a relevant role in todayʼs social topics although the time of ideologies is over.
In the second half of the twentieth century, abstract painting gradually lost its position at the pinnacle of the visual arts. For decades it was sidelined by academia and the contemporary art industry. But abstract painting has not lost its relevance, and never ceased to exist in artist studios. Away from the scrutiny, it has grown into a nuanced and subtle medium that on the one hand displays intense skill and maturity and the other is daring and confrontational – reaching outward to express relevant issues and inward into our own selves. This exhibition aims to take a concentrated look on the structural properties of contemporary abstract painting from the studio level through the artists who actively make the art. Thus, the abstract artists continue to communicate and challenge the viewer through exploration of abstract expressionism.
What are the new developments in color theory? What is the role and usage of the grid today? What is the relation between repetition and originality in the contemporary abstract artworks? Is there any concern over being innovative enough and the paradoxes around that? What are the limitations, if any?
Although the exhibition focuses on abstract with traditional materials, the outcome is very eclectic and technically nuanced, creating a rare occasion to observe the diverse state of abstract painting today and helps trace the lines of influence from early abstract experiments through pop-art into our digital age.
Participants for the project were invited by other artist in the show. Initially starting with three artists, I asked them to invite other abstract painters – whose work they found relevant and thought provoking. Although the exhibition focuses on abstract with traditional materials, the outcome is very eclectic and nuanced, creating a rare occasion to observe the diverse state of abstract painting techniques today and helps trace the lines of influence from early abstract experiments through pop-art into our digital age.
Today, the spectrum of themes have become broader and more nuanced, broken down to smaller elements of existence, such as the invisible mechanism and motions in nature in Dora Tomulić’s swirling works or the observations of the geological in Nathalie Guarrachino’s layered, dark paintings. Romvári Márton draws inspiration from the fourth state of matter – plasma. His preoccupation in his art is to create the illusion of depth by manipulating the relationship between light, shadow and color.
The art in this exhibition also suggests that while the time of big ideological subtexts may be over, global economic tensions are still very present. The art of Ana de La Cueva, for example, investigates notions of territoriality, transit and limits. Her paintings specifically explore issues related to the economic, political and cultural relations between Mexico and the United States.
Other works in the exhibition, including those by Kati Vilim, operate within their own structural visual language without any external concerns. Despite the absence of narration, Vilim’s hard-edged geometric abstraction conveys meaning through the rhythm of her colors and forms. Franklin Perkins works with the properties of graphic art, such as advertisement, posters and block prints, and through variations on those forms he builds a plastic language.