The most recent trend in painting today- Provisional Painting.
Provisional painting can be seen as a turn away from “strong” paintings, or any sense of grandeur. But why would any artist not pursue the heights of a masterpiece and a sense of perfection? The history of art, and especially modernism has been littered with artists who never feel satisfied, always feeling weighed down in self-criticism. As Dali once said, “Have no fear of perfection, you’ll never reach it”. By not pursuing the illusion of greatness, paintings that show mistakes, seek self-sabotage and turn a cold shoulder towards the high end aesthetic of the art market, these painters unfinished, abandoned works embrace the “purity of the unprofitable”.
Christopher Wool during the 80’s and 90’s produced some of the “punchiest paintings” according to Ken Johnson, writing in the “New York Times”. He dealt primarily in apost-conceptual, neo-pop style. To see Wool’s paintings today, which seem to revel in painterly brushstrokes one would think the artist had performed a 180 degree turn in style. But Wool’s paintings don’t embrace and celebrate paint in the way one would be initially led to believe. The paint isn’t smeared onto the canvas, it is being dragged off of it. Each stroke can be seen as a removal, an act of negation. It is this subtle desire to remove the paint that leads Wool towards provisionality.
Provisional painting is one of the most recent trends today in painting. So underground that none of the major institutions of the art world have yet to champion its heroes. In an even greater sign of the times this “provisional” trend in painting has been declared and discussed by art magazines and blogs online. The internet is shaping art discourse like never before.
Provisional painting was originally outlined by the writer Raphael Rubinstein, in “Art in America” 5/4/09. Several other notable art blogs have picked up on this trend and discussed it at length.
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