Painting at the Edge of the World

Painting at the Edge of the World

by Kathy Halbreich, Walker Art Center
     
 

Is painting a mode of thought? Is there a philosophy of painting that extends beyond the confines of the medium? Where does the edge of the canvas end and the edge of the world begin? Painting at the Edge of the World brings together thirty artists and some of the most provocative critical thinkers today, each of whom poses a new set of questions about the… See more details below

Overview

Is painting a mode of thought? Is there a philosophy of painting that extends beyond the confines of the medium? Where does the edge of the canvas end and the edge of the world begin? Painting at the Edge of the World brings together thirty artists and some of the most provocative critical thinkers today, each of whom poses a new set of questions about the irrepressible power and relevance of contemporary painting.

No longer solely bound by such traditional categories as figuration, abstraction, portraiture, and landscape, or even by the conventional definition of the medium as paint on canvas, many artists today demonstrate that a philosophy of painting is to be found not only in these genres, but also in photographic, conceptual, performative, popular culture, and architectural manifestations.

This collection of essays provides a wide-ranging reconsideration of the status of painting in the current global situation: its Lazarus-like persistence in the face of its perpetual "deaths"; the dispersion of an art-historical center and the assertion of cultural difference; the relationship between painting and its "support"; the crisis of legitimacy it shares with rock music; the practice of painting as simulation drive; the suture between an "original" avant-garde and its deferred repetition; the trauma of speech.

What becomes clear is that painting's traditional function as a window on the world has been circumvented, or rather that someone has left the window open and a number of things have crawled in. As Yve-Alain Bois so eloquently paraphrases Robert Musil: "If some painting is still to come, if painters are still to come, they will not come from where we expect them to." Painting at the Edge of the World looks beyond our expectations and provides a broad context for understanding painterly practice today.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
The demise of painting as an art form has been anticipated and disputed ever since the invention of photography in the 19th century. This exhibition catalog is published in conjunction with a show at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and addresses the current state of painting within the international avant-garde. It features 30 cutting-edge artists from around the world, with some more familiar names including Mike Kelley, John Currin, Marlene Dumas, Takashi Murakami, and Chris Ofili. The work of these artists is complemented by equally cutting-edge writing on contemporary painting, contributed by an array of academics, artists (many of whom are featured in the exhibit itself), and curators. The artist plates at the end of the catalog function as a small encyclopedia of contemporary painting, while large color gatefolds and brief profiles represent each of the artists in the exhibition. The design, though contemporary and stylish, can be cumbersome to the reader. Recommended for academic and specialized art collections. Krista Ivy, Bryn Mawr Coll., PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780935640670
Publisher:
Walker Art Center
Publication date:
02/15/2001
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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