INFORMAL RELATIONScontemporary abstract works on paper
December 3rd - January 15thOpening reception is December 3rd from 6pm - 11pmGallery hours are Thursday - Saturday 11am - 6pmThe Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art (iMOCA) is pleased to announce the group exhibition, Informal Relations curated by Indianapolis based artist and curator Scott Grow.
Informal Relations presents recent abstract works on paper by a diverse group of international artists, and focuses on the diversity of practices-approaches, styles, and intentions-- within painting and abstraction today. The exhibition's title refers to kind the "informal relations" artists have with one another, their predecessors, with the modernist tradition, the future, and even with their own work. While works on paper may stand as finished works, they are also often places for exploration, thinking, planning, taking chances, and failure.Abstract art is challenging because of its concrete and/or metaphoric nature which refuses expected representation, its defiance of language and absolute interpretation, and because it requires the viewer's engagement and participation. And because abstraction is not a singular school or style, the term itself is not necessarily helpful in identifying the qualities or concepts embodied in the art object: artists often naturally have shared and conflicting objectives for the art they make. Abstraction, which lends itself to various aesthetic, conceptual, and political stances, is broadly multiphasic, utilitarian, and flexible.Each artist presented here confronts, investigates, and presents a definition of abstract painting true to his or her materials, motifs, and sensibilities. Informal Relations explores the similarities, differences, and connections between these artists, their dialog with abstraction's history, and various directions forward for abstraction.This exhibition presents the works of 32 artists from across the United States and abroad. Participating artists include: Patrick Alt, Chris Ashley, Patrick Berran, Kadar Brock, Matthew Deleget, Laura Fayer, Keltie Ferris, Patrick Michael Fitzgerald, Connie Goldman, Brent Hallard, Rachel Hayes, Jeffrey Cortland Jones, Michael Just, Matthew Langley, Jim Lee, Rossana Martinez, Rob Nadeau, Melissa Oresky, Paul Pagk, Danielle Riede,Maximilian Rödel , Eric Sall, Susan Scott, Gabriel J. Shuldiner, Jessica Snow, Henning Straßburger, Garth Weiser, Wendy White, Paige Williams, Douglas Witmer, Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and John Zurier.For further information visit, www.indymoca.org
Everything is political on one level, or so it is said.
To be very wary of systems though… in thought too (My love for Pascal). And is it possible to do this in painting? Painting as something forever renegade?
Critical theory can become an orthodoxy in its own right. Before one knows it you are dancing with the devil.
We have seen that everything can become a commodity. Even ideas.
Is this an absolute? How determining is this fact? What status can things (eg. Paintings) have outside the commodity realm?
Painting has its inner worlds; its history makes it problematic but also provides the conventions and frameworks to sustain it (problematically).
Art needs to be problematic. Its very nature is problematic. Does this problematic nature need to be tempered by existential factors? What about pleasure?
The pleasure of making? The pleasure of viewing? Why shun these?
Painting is not one thing. It is not static. It is a confluence (a meeting place?).
Painting (as I see it) is pre-political. It is not sustained by circular critical theory in this sense. Can it lay the ground for kinds of experience from which we can learn (politically)? Crucially, painting can be a place where we can interact on many levels, especially at a phenomological level: forces, energy, synthesis, destruction, creation, openness, flow…
Courtesy of Paul Andriesse
Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art
Dec 3, 2010 – Jan 15, 2011
I have found that painting most betrays its secret motivations when it deals with things strictly on its own terms. Only then did I understand that it (my painting activity) is to do with the most commonplace stuff of our daily life, and in the most intimate ways: the problems in painting reflect our experience of life. What we inevitably lose in life we attempt to recover in a transfigured way in painting.
There is a very fine line between the worst possible piece of absolute trash and a wonderful painting. It is pure idiocy to talk of a painter who knows or doesn’t know how to paint. A painter who comes to realize what is really at stake in his daily activity has learnt how to value that which is constantly being found by chance or otherwise.
Here they are along with links to the publications etc.:
Guest Room/Contemporary Art is the brainchild of Nicolas Lemmens and Olivia Delwart. Situated in a quiet neighborhood on top of a hill in what is known as upper Brussels (there are two levels to the city), the gallery is a small white cube facing onto the street; it is open Wednesday and Saturday from 2:00 to 6:00 pm, and by appointment. The artist’s bio and checklist, as well as copies of catalogs, are lined up on the inside window ledge and are easily visible to the passerby who stops to look inside the window (it is lit up at night until 12:00 p.m.), and is curious to know more. According to Lemmens, the literature is meant to get people interested, without putting any pressure on them. After all, if you step inside, you would literally be coming for your second look and, one assumes, a more intimate engagement.
The eighth exhibition (or Guest #8) was of the drawings of Patrick Michael Fitzgerald, an Irish artist who lives and works in Vizcaya, outside
Using a vocabulary that consists of a few vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines (a skeletal geometry) juxtaposed against ragged and rounded shapes, and perfectly cut, collaged circles, and pristine cut-out spaces, Fitzgerald responds to something palpable in the world. The often-layered space, while alluding to nature, also conveys drawing as an accumulation of decisions, as well as a visual indication of time past. One both sees and sees into these drawings, with the layering reiterated by the use of collage in the form of the perfectly round circles. For Fitzgerald, drawing isn’t only a surface waiting to register the artist’s marks; it is a thing. In some cases, it isn’t hard to make an equation between the drawing and its title, but to try and locate the works only within the discursive realm is to miss their strength.
Fitzgerald believes drawing is a construction that explores the tension between structure and dissolution. In Andratx (Pools, Thoughts), 2009, he partitions the drawing with three red lines into three areas, with the one along the bottom further divided by a diagonal red line rising from near the left corner. The diagonal, interacting with another right above it, turns the areas they enclose into tilting planes, and, at the same time, introduces a spatial possibility that Fitzgerald builds upon with a bluish-purple form across the drawing’s lower half. Rounded brown shapes packed closely together share the same plane as the bluish-purple shape (the pool?). Over this field, Fitzgerald attaches perfect circles done in different shades of blue, gray, and magenta, as well as two cut from a printed page of blue and black. These circles compel us to read the drawing tactilely, as well as visually. They pull our attention in, even as they become a disruption.
For all the deliberate thought that goes into these drawings, they feel neither restrained nor governed by an overriding goal. In fact, they feel like something the artist found. Each drawing is made up of a different group of colors, and the shapes and marks feel intrinsic to the drawing. Sometimes the way a bar-like shape overlays another evokes the possibility that the artist used tape to decide where something goes; this recalls for me the late works of Piet Mondrian. By responding to his immediate environment, Fitzgerald shares something with two older abstract artists, Raoul De Keyser and Thomas Nozkowski. Fitzgerald’s works do not suffer by comparison.
Fitzgerald’s vocabulary is basic—there is nothing elaborate or stylish about his lines and circles, rough and ragged shapes. He relies on colored pencils, ink, and collage—nothing fancy. And yet—and this is why Fitzgerald seems to me to be on the verge of becoming an important and singular artist—the work comes across as taut and fresh, brimming with an awareness that the act of seeing is a construction, at once fluid and disrupted.
© Brooklyn Rail & John Yau 2010
L'abstraction aux limites de la non figuration, Claude Lorent, Libre Belgique - Artes Libre, July 2nd.
Speed, energy and intensity - Aidan Dunne, The Irish Times, May 12th 2010.
BIHOTZ, THE title of Patrick Michael Fitzgerald’s exhibition at the Rubicon Gallery, is the Basque word for heart, both anatomically and figuratively speaking. Fitzgerald’s work is about the self’s engagement with the world, both the physical self and the thinking, feeling self, the essence of personal identity. The paintings themselves are abstract, although they do evoke spaces and systems including, as a catalogue note mentions, the biological system that is the human body. All of this is conveyed with great verve, inventiveness and wit.
Fitzgerald is not a representational artist, though. He doesn’t make pictures that resemble the way things look. He makes pictures that correlate to the way things are, or theories we have about the way things are. One suspects that there are people who just would not get his work at all, who could not really relate to it, and not because of any lack on the part of either the work or the people. What he does emerges from a dialogue between sets of conventions and possibilities. That is, he uses the language of painting and drawing rather in the way that a musician will use an inherited tradition.
The tension that arises from the combination of predictability and unpredictability makes the work interesting. If you have no familiarity with or liking for a particular musical form or, in Fitzgerald’s case, abstract painting, you are unlikely to be persuaded. So his potential audience is likely to be specialised and to that extent limited. He’s not an especially Irish artist. There’s a distinctly international flavour to what he does. In fact, although he was born in Ireland, he attended Chelsea College of Art in London, and he is based in northern Spain, close to Bilbao – hence the show’s Basque title. And in that demanding international context, his work is easily as good as anything you’re likely to find.
© Irish Times & Aidan Dunne 2010