Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Abstraction and Metamodernism, a way forward?..

Is there a way forward for abstraction through the 'metamodernist' position of Luke Turner based upon and with reference to the notion of Metamodernism as described by Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker in 'Notes on metamodernism' (Journal of Aesthetics & Culture, Vol. 2, 2010) or do we not need to define such a standpoint through manifestos anymore?..Abstraktion would like to hear your ideas?... 

Metamodernism Manifesto/ Luke Turner

1.We recognise oscillation to be the natural order of the world.

2. We must liberate ourselves from the inertia resulting from a century of modernist ideological naivety and the cynical insincerity of its antonymous bastard child.

3. Movement shall henceforth be enabled by way of an oscillation between positions, with diametrically opposed ideas operating like the pulsating polarities of some colossal electric machine, propelling the world into action.

4. We acknowledge the limitations inherent to all movement and experience, and the futility of any attempt to transcend the boundaries set forth therein. The essential incompleteness of a system should necessitate an adherence, not in order to achieve a given end or be slaves to its course, but rather perchance to glimpse by proxy some hidden exteriority. Existence is enriched if we set about our task as if those limits might be exceeded, for such action unfolds the world.

5. All things are caught up within the irrevocable slide towards a state of maximum entropic dissemblance. Artistic creation is contingent upon the origination or revelation of difference therein. Affect at its zenith is the unmediated experience of difference in itself. It must be art’s role to explore the promise of its own paradoxical ambition by coaxing excess towards presence.

6. The present is a symptom of the twin birth of immediacy and obsolescence. The new technology enables the simultaneous experience and enactment of events from a multiplicity of positions. Far from signalling its demise, these emergent networks facilitate the democratisation of history, illuminating the forking paths along which its grand narratives may navigate the here and now.

7. Just as science strives for poetic elegance, artists might assume a quest for truth. All information is grounds for knowledge, whether empirical or aphoristic, no matter its truth-value. We should embrace the scientific-poetic synthesis and informed naivety of a magical realism. Erroneousness breeds sense.

8. We propose a pragmatic romanticism unhindered by ideological anchorage. Thus,metamodernism shall be defined as the mercurial condition that lies betweenbeyond and in pursuit of a plurality of disparate and fragmentary positions. We must go forth and oscillate.

Monday, 21 November 2011

New forms of abstraction 'Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany' Saatchi HQ, London

Isa Genzken 'Geschwister' 2004, plastic, lacquer, mirror foil, glass, metal, wood, fabric 220 x 60 x 100 cm
An alternative to the Gerhard Richter show at Tate Modern is this one at Saatchi's Chelsea HQ entitled: 'Gesamtkunstwerk: New Art from Germany' from 18th November - 30th April 2012, read the Financial Times review. Following the interesting Abstract America exhibition last year, here is one that explores cross-media abstraction in Germany. I like these works by the artist (and ex-wife of Richter) Isa Gentzen..

Isa Gentzen, 'Kinder Filmen I' 2005, Mirror, metal, adhesive tape, magazine and book pages, stamps acrylic, lacquer, spray paint. 280 x 100 cm each panel (Wall Installation of Four Parts

The art of the 24 artists from or based in Germany presented here provokes a re-assessment of the 19th-century ideal of the 'Gesamtkunstwerk', which can be translated as a total, universal art work, or a synthesis of different art forms into one all-embracing unique genre, especially sculpture.

Thomas Kieswetter, 'Barriere' 2010, Sheet metal, steel 
'Many of these works ask us to think about the boundaries of art, our perception of it, its cultural specificity and its relationship to other disciplines. Running through the works is another, unconscious, quasi-Gesamtkunstwerk: the baggage of post-war German visual culture. If the work of these 24 artists points to a new kind of 'Gesamtkunstwerk' it is one in which high and low culture, the avant-garde and the historical, the everyday and everything in between can co-exist in a body of works which add up to much more than the sum of their parts.'

These artists including Josephine Meckseper, Markus Selg, Thomas Zipp, Max Frisinger, Gert and Uwe Tobias are in dialogue with previous generations of German artists, such as Joseph Beuys, Martin Kippenberger and Gerhard Richter. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Albert Oehlen, Thomas Dane Gallery, 'Paintings on the Move' London..

Albert Oehlen (c) The artist and Thomas Dane Gallery

One of the finest painters working with abstraction, Albert Oehlenis currently showing subtle works in an exhibition at the Thomas Dane Gallery, London until 19th November 2011. 
'Albert Oehlen - amongst the pre-eminent painters of his generation - pushes the boundaries of his medium to straining point, continuously challenging the canons of painting with a wry humour and brazen originality. The New Yorker Magazine has referred to him as 'the most resourceful painter alive'. This body of work - using charcoal and acrylic on canvas -restricts itself to black and white - and is closely related to his most recent forays into large-scale drawing. 

Born in Krefeld, Germany in 1954, Albert Oehlen lives and works principally in Switzerland and is professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His international exhibitions include retrospective exhibitions at the The Whitechapel, London and Arnolfini Bristol (2006), Miami MOCA (2005), solo shows at the Kunsthalle Nürnberg, Nurenberg (2005) Secession, Vienna (2004), Musée Cantonnal de Lausanne (2004), Musée d'Art Contemporain de Strasbourg (2002), Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover (2001) and the Kunsthalle Basel (1997).'
Installation view, Albert Oehlen (c) The artist and Thomas Dane Gallery