Beginning in the 1960s, Keith Sonnier (1941 – 2020) was one of the few artists experimenting with neon tubing as a sculptural medium. His pursuit was part of a larger interest in using everyday and industrial materials, foregoing the illusory space of painting in favor of a more literal and direct, artistic approach.
Bruce Nauman’s neon sculpture, Human Nature / Life Death (1983) is a circle of words corresponding to the defining contradictions of human existence — life and death, love and hate, pleasure and pain — are trisected by the words Animal, Human and Nature.
Maccarone Gallery is currently hosting Portals, 14 new wall-mounted neon sculptures by artist Keith Sonnier. Sonnier’s by-now iconic work is emblematic of a generation of artists who sought to liberate the artistic encounter from the formal constraints of Modernism to produce a sensory and emotional experience that also extended beyond the Spartan affect of Minimalism. The category of post-Minimalism, however, does not adequately describe both the unique wit and visceral impact that Sonnier’s work displays. Continue reading Keith Sonnier, Portals at Maccarone Gallery
Dan Flavin (April 1, 1933 – November 29, 1996) was an American minimalist artist famous for creating gorgeous sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures. David Zwirner Gallery which represents Flavin’s estate, is currently hosting an exhibition of the artist’s significant Corner, Barrier and Corridor works from the late 1960s and early 1970s at its West 20th Street in New York. This is a must-see exhibit.
Continue reading Dan Flavin, Corners, Barriers and Corridors at David Zwirner
Well, the Matisse exhibit may now be only a memory, and Sturtevant’s Double Trouble only runs for 10 more days, but there’s still a fantastic contemporary painting exhibit at MOMA that you can see into April! Joy!
The Forever Now presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium: they refuse to allow us to define or even meter our time by them.
This phenomenon in culture was first identified by the science fiction writer William Gibson, who used the term “a-temporality” to describe a cultural product of our moment that paradoxically doesn’t represent, through style, through content, or through medium, the time from which it comes. A-temporality, or timelessness, manifests itself in painting as an historical free-for-all, where contemporaneity as an indicator of new form is nowhere to be found, and all eras coexist.
A profligate mixing of past styles and genres can be identified as a kind of hallmark for our moment in painting, with artists achieving it by reanimating historical styles or recreating a contemporary version of them, sampling motifs from across the timeline of 20th-century art in a single painting or across an oeuvre, or radically paring their language down to the most archetypal forms.
The artists in this exhibition represent a wide variety of styles and impulses, but all use the painted surface as a platform, map, or metaphoric screen on which genres intermingle, morph, and collide. Their work represents traditional painting, in the sense that each artist engages with painting’s traditions, testing and ultimately reshaping historical strategies like appropriation and bricolage and reframing more metaphysical, high-stakes questions surrounding notions of originality, subjectivity, and spiritual transcendence.
The Forever Now exhibition includes works by Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Kerstin Brätsch, Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn, Charline von Heyl, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Oscar Murillo, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Mary Weatherford, and Michael Williams.
The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World will be on Exhibit Through April 5th, 2015 at The Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street (Between Fifth and Sixth Avenues) in NYC.