Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
What is it about NY and abstract painting? People make it out that the two are so innately connected that you'd start to think one is dating Nate Lowman while the other gets the guy who went "full retard" in Gigli. Now which is the Kitchen show and which is Cave Painting? Who cares? Maybe child labor laws forced what would be one show into 2, the same way it split Michelle Tanner into Mary-Kate and Ashley? Magoo knows that neither show aims to be regional snapshots of "contemporary painting" but it stinks like Bud Fox in theres. I pity the podunks dragged into these shows, left rolled up on the floor waiting for John Yau to come by and pensively fondle his goatee. Even if they use South American daylaborers, pennies or their fingers, painters tend to be very sensitive and easily offended by groupings of this sort. Thankfully Magoo don't "paint", so all the grumbles I've taken in don't add up. But then again, neither do the shows. Total whatevs; just another way of differentiating the days before we all, one by one, tumble into the deepest sink.
Sure, Nickas picked some winners to take down into his weird little basement and Singer managed to hang what isn't a complete affont to whatever "good taste" is these days. But the endless mitosis of these abstract "reappraisals" is certainly wearing this Magoose thin, making me long for that hideously adorable Nazi baby Yuskavage exhibited to much consternation earlier this year across the street from the Kitchen. But such longing is moot thanks to Richard Hawkins' show right 'round the corner from Cave Painting, getting here just in time to scrub our brains with linseed oil and young asian men. As painting (especially in NY) is increasingly put to overdetermined use, servicing the fabulations of "arbitrary" or "performative" subjectivities on its material knees, Hawkins' perverse abstractions and amateur figuration are like a lotus flower to such overdeterminations; narcotizing and sexualizing the potential relationships between artist, canvas and viewer through an emancipated flow of unpoliced desires. No doubt thanks to Hawkins' been-around-the-block, a posteriori paintings (painting in the posteriori, from the posteriori? bad pun?), a friend mentioned to me that after seeing this show "these NY artists are not gonna know what think, not know what to do or even who to do anymore..."