Shila Khatami, Sonnenuntergang S K II, 2015
Monique van Genderen
September 28 – November 6, 2015
Guggenheim Gallery at Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange CA 92866
Artist Reception and Catalog Release Sunday November 1, 2015
Abstraction finally crystalized into the picture plane in high modernism when the German Bauhaus school and Dutch artist group De Stijl, and individuals auch as Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malewitsch and Sophie Tauber-Arp, developed distinct styles using destilled geometric shapes in their compositions and designs. In architecture of the time, a sobering developent took place, eliminating ornament, and with it, perhaps, some of its memory and history, from buildings, interior designs and furnishings. Painting discovered its materiality and began to see its surface as the actual drama, as if the viewer were to slowly zoom out of what was once the window into a different world onto its earthly, woven reality.
These reductive maneuvers, counteracting the logic of perspecitive and the mimicry of visual reality, were meant to highten awareness, sharpen the intuition, and express a universal truth and beauty. But it wasn’t long before capitalism deveoured and homogenized these honorable ideals, and led them ad absurdum. Today everybody can purchase a piece of that high modernist action or rather its broken limbs, the remains of a once vital utopianism by purchasing a ‚fjälkinge’ –shelf or a ‚stolmen’-storage system at their local Ikea.
What can abstract painting do to reclaim the philosophical vigor inherent in its modernist components? Does it even have to? Or have the goals of the abstract painter changed altogether?
Stray Edge brings together four artists that work with abstraction through painting and sculpture who are investigating the possibilities of the painted surrface in order to set in motion a play of perception and meaning. The pictures and three-dimensional works are equally open to figurative as well as conceptual or literal readings and set in motion a negotiation between arbitrariness and intentionality. Rather than seeking absolutes in truth and beauty, they are undogmatically propositioning the significance of the painted surface.