Painting Now at Tate Britain

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Painting Now at Tate Britain

Postby art reviewer » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:29 pm

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/painting-now-five-contemporary-artists
Now, now. This show is almost over, so the only people looking at it were students. It presents a very dry picture of the present state of painting. One imagines a thin lipped human wearing spectacles, who enjoys reading art monthly, selecting it. First room is Tomma Abts, hard-worked geometric abstractions which are occasionally optically delightful, but evoke mostly a meh.
Remember the constructivists a million years ago.
Next Simon Ling a guy who paints cityscapes from life, rather Euston road school, with a squiffy horizon line and fluorescent underpainting, they are pleasant, and nicely painted. If you saw them in the London Art Fair, you'd be surprised how good they were. Once again, you think wasn't this popular a while ago.
Ok wow now we've got Lucy Mckenzie with some trompe l'oeil and a big structure painted green. It's all about something important, probably architectural. It must be more than some finicky bulletin boards, that are, gasp, actually paintings, mustn't it?
Then onto a similar artist in Catherine Story whose work is similarly not exciting, but this time in a less figurative way, but you presume it must therefore be about something very clever indeed.
And finally Gillian Carnegie who makes figurative paintings eg a cat on the stairs, but they're painted in weird colours, like all grays, or odd textures, so that too must make them good or somehow more profound than a painting of a cat.

So here's the painting NOW thesis, abstract or fig, don't matter, as long as it's kind of odd with some reference to an outdated style or a set of rather obscure ideas that would make a good review in an art magazine. The paintings seem stuck in referentiality rather than capturing the life of the world or mind or a person Painting Now: as long as its about yesterday and not embarrassingly personal or interesting.
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Re: Painting Now at Tate Britain

Postby CAP » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:08 pm

And four of the five are women? How contemporary and artistic. Check out the penetrating rationale. :shock:

The exhibition is curated by Lizzie Carey-Thomas, Curator Contemporary British Art (centre of picture), Clarrie Wallis, Curator Modern & Contemporary British Art, and Andrew Wilson, Curator Modern & Contemporary British Art. Here's Wilson (on right) at the hang with young soul rebel Ling and Wallis, Girl Friday in Glasses. The distinctly anal, unimaginative, repressed and deeply conservative character of the work perfectly reflects the aspirations of the careerist arts bureaucrat of today. :roll:

The show is like a triple hit of Prozac. :twisted:
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Re: Painting Now at Tate Britain

Postby balls » Tue Jan 14, 2014 10:57 pm

It's an attempt to make painting seem relevant - a bad attempt.
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Re: Painting Now at Tate Britain

Postby fem » Wed Jan 15, 2014 11:32 am

"Hello, I’m Clarrie Wallis, Curator of Modern and Contemporary British Art, and over the past year and a half I have been working with my colleagues Lizzie Carey-Thomas and Andrew Wilson on Tate Britain’s forthcoming contemporary painting exhibition." http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/blogs/why-painting-why-now

A year and a half? Wow. A long time to bung up five rooms of paintings.

BUT CAP, how many shows have you seen with all men or mostly men, surely we shouldn't be sarky about an exhibition NOT being sexist for once?
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Re: Painting Now at Tate Britain

Postby CAP » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:16 am

Well yes but then again since complaints about the gender imbalance in shows is so common, an inverse imbalance is surely just as deplorable, no? We are after equal representation, are we not? Unless we want to play out averages for shows over venues… which may take forever… :lol:

But my sarcasm is really levelled at Tate curators since they are clearly at pains to present equal gender numbers in The Turner Prize, at least for the last couple of years. How this makes for the best in contemporary art, I fail to see. But Carey-Thomas I seem to remember was the instigator of a Turner Prize retrospective a few years ago and some finalists were clearly the inspiration for this show, so I'm poking at another underlying mission statement here. :)
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