Friday, March 16, 2007

travel, abstraction, links

Sorry things have been so slow around here. But this blog is almost always best when I'm actually looking at art that really engages me and there hasn't been so much of that going around here. More generalized ponderings need to follow from that, usually. I have pretty broad taste and can appreciate a lot of things on a rational level, but that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm jumping out of my seat. Also, reviewing often mediocre shows for the papercurrently near-weeklythis whole art-writing business begins to look just a little bit mre like actual work, and a little bit less like the uncoerced, unalienated activity I like to imagine that I started with. Not that I'm complaining really; I enjoy what I do.

Anyways, its a pleasure to report that I'll be spending the majority of next week hanging out in the Boston area, with art-viewing at the top of my agenda. I'll be writing up "Big Bang! Abstract Painting for the 21st Century"
currently up at the DeCordova in Lincolnfor Big Red & Shiny. Silly, hyperbolic title aside, it looks like a promising show. Franklin Einspruch of has an ably written and cautiously enthusiastic review here. I'll reserve full judgment until I've seen it in person, of course. Nevertheless, much of the work appears to embody what I find most encouraging in the art of today: a combination of formal daring and the willingness to reconcile abstraction with the concerns of everyday life in the modern world. That probably sounds both vague and pretentious; elaborations to follow soon.

On a similar note, I'd like to draw your attention to some related proclamations and discussions online and beyond. Madinkbeard
—a new addition to my sidebar and an all-around enlightening-read—has posts linking the abstract painters Cy Twombly and Pierre Alechinsky to comics and narrative. Intriguing images, especially in the latter case. Birgit Zipser has an interesting, if wrongheaded, post on abstraction and mental illness today at Art & Perception. See the following discussion for an ongoing debate on art versus science, abstraction versus representation, and nature versus nurture. Not directly related to abstraction, but still worthwhile: Stacy Oborn on defining personal aesthetic sensibility. Finally, and turning back to the real world, Linda-Price Sneddon and Mark Schoening have an ongoing experimental project, inFlux, which you can read about here, or go see at Boston's Laconia Gallery. (Yes, most of the names dropped above are acquaintances of mine.)

Anyways, I hope to be blogging every other day or so from Boston, probably starting on Wednesday, and hopefully sustaining me for a while after my return.

UPDATE (3/17): There has been a change of plans, as my traveling companion apparently has come down with a bad case of jury duty. I'll be going down on Thursday morning instead. Perhaps I can arrange to stay beyond Sunday
I'd certainly like to.

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