Currently reading : The Show is Over – Gagosian Gallery, London

The Show is Over – Gagosian Gallery, London

17 November 2013

Author : reba

GERHARD RICHTER Grau (Grey), 1970 Oil on canvas

There it is. I have shown it to you. It has been done. It is being done. And because it can be done, it will be done.
””Kirk Varnedoe, Pictures of Nothing

“The show is over.” Or is it? This exhibition is about abstraction and the end of painting, often proposed but never concluded. Christopher Wool’s statement in paintings, drawings and billboards, taken from Vasily Rozanov’s nineteenth century definition of nihilism, contains sufficient irony to suggest that painting itself, the spectacle that surrounds it, and the ultimate questions it poses about life and death, are never quite over.

The negation of painting emerged in Europe after WWII in Francis Picabia’s last paintings, Lucio Fontana’s punctured and slashed Concetto spaziale paintings, Yves Klein’s Fire-Color works, and Piero Manzoni’s quest for neutral materiality in the Achromes. When first exhibited in 1953, Robert Rauschenberg’s White Paintings””monochromatic panel paintings””were unprecedented in their deceptive blankness. These works anticipated diverse interpretations of the neutral picture plane. Gerhard Richter’s paintings of the 1970s in shades of grey project a removed, indifferent power. Richard Serra’s Left Corner Horizontal (1977), a dense black expanse of oilstick on linen, produces a physical and spatial void that appears impenetrable.

A shared spirit of negation is evident in the anarchic actions that fueled the urban Punk movement, epitomized by Steven Parrino’s physical attacks on the canvas and Kim Gordon’s evanescent wreaths. In Parrino’s Untitled (1992), the anarchist symbol is sprayed in black engine enamel on white vellum. Ed Ruscha’s hermetic painted wordplay reaches cinematic finality with The End paintings, begun in the early 1980s. The silhouettes of Hourglass #4 (1987) and End (1993) are set against grey-spectrum horizons that evoke transitions of time and space.

Seeking new ways to negate or efface the picture plane, artists such as Douglas Gordon, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Adam McEwen, Albert Oehlen, Richard Prince, and Rudolf Stingel represent sustained challenges to the limits of painting, both real and imagined. (via)

“The Show is Over” opened this weekend and will be on until the 30th of November where you can find out more about it here

CHRISTOPHER WOOL Untitled, 1990 Enamel paint on aluminum

WADE GUYTON Untitled, 2011 Epson UltraChrome inkjet on linen

ED RUSCHA End, 1993 Acrylic on canvas

CY TWOMBLY Untitled (New York City), 1968

ALBERT OEHLEN Untitled, 2008 Oil paint and collage on canvas

Gagosian Gallery

6-24 Britannia Street
London WC1X 9JD

Hours: Tue–Sat 10-6

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