In her collages from the beginning of the 1980s, Julia Wachtel made the image-worlds of Pop and trash collide. When she turned to painting, she remained loyal to her technique of hard cuts – which she has maintained ever since. Bob Nickas looks back on the era of infotainment, when picture-making was reinvented.
Why is taking a digital image more like painting than analogue photography? Media artist Paul Kneale investigates the fundamental difference between the two modes of production, and sees us as painters stepping back to review the latest brushstrokes of our just-taken selfies. Looking through the haze of his own “optical migraines” Kneale argues for a new form of painting.
Lily van der Stokker's wall paintings and installations play on the decorative, the “nice” and the “girly”. Gossip, celebrity friends, and the always-dirty home find a place on the museum's walls, which become a diary full of colourful flowers and clouds. In this way, the artist has developed not only her own approach to image and text but also a feminist strategy: “Nonshouting Feminism” as she calls it.
“If you sit on an elephant, your behaviour changes.” Technology may continue to advance, but that doesn’t mean art is getting any better, says Nicolas Party. With a calm and irony-free attitude, he has been developing one of the most idiosyncratic practices among young painters today. A conversation with Rita Vitorelli about naivety, the slowness of matter, and what’s special about the human hand.
Why are people now taking a renewed interest in Giorgio Griffa’s work? Perhaps because around 1970 he had already anticipated many of the concerns of painting today, with his serial gestures and unprimed canvases nailed onto the wall. Eva Fabbris writes about how the artist developed a unique position between Conceptual art and Arte Povera.
Artists’ assistants are omnipresent in the art business. Yet, as a rule, they are all but invisible. Ever nameless they disappear from view in artists’ studios; their work is absorbed into their employers’ production and their independent creative participation in the works is subsumed by the artistic “brand” they have helped to form. However, things do seem to be changing. Not only has “Artist’s Assistant” become a recognized occupation, but assistants are starting to emerge from their anonymity and raising their profiles as artists in their own right. Hans-Jürgen Hafner sketches out the situation.
Like almost no other artist, Albert Oehlen subjects painting to a stress test. For over 30 years he’s been tinkering with the medium’s source code: colour and paint application, lines and layers, titles and triumphs, disappointments and expectations. These elements are all played against one another and caught off guard. Daniel Baumann leads us through the work.
The New York-based Norwegian artist is drawn to big subjects – violence, sexuality, destruction, aging, self-expression. His exhibitions are dense installations packed with paintings, sculptures, readymades, photographs, and contributions from friends working with art, design, or literature. Jennifer Krasinski speaks to him about the visual dimension of writing, the death drive in homosexuality, and the irrelevance of cultural relevance.
Known as much for her clever plunder of painting’s conventions as for her bumptious mix of high and low cultural references, Los-Angeles painter Laura Owens has by now long outpaced the early trivializations of her work as light-hearted California-girl pictures. In her recent work, Owens gives painting’s gestures her most serious overhaul to date.
It’s undeniable that Chris Martin’s paintings resemble »outsider art«. Yet I like them not for being intuitive, or spiritual, or liberated from convention – although they are all these things – but because they are affectionate.