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real painting

Post #669 • November 29, 2005, 10:34 AM • 40 Comments

There are many, many art events happening this week. But only one of them is real.

We'll know who the true lovers of art are, because we'll be seeing them there.

Comment

1.

Marc Country

November 29, 2005, 12:54 PM

Clearly, you're trying to pick a fight here... good... I'll try to help.

"The show exhibits works by Walter Darby Bannard, whose paintings hang in many important collections, including those of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Guggenheim Museum."

I know Bannard has work IN these collections, but they don't ever actually HANG any of them, do they?

Anyway... where's the REAL art?... It just looks like a bunch of paintings, and everyone knows, paintings aren't real things, they're just pictures of things.
Sculpture, on the other hand... now there's REAL art.

Kidding aside, good luck and congratulations... sorry I won't see the show.

2.

dirty sanchez

November 29, 2005, 1:58 PM

oh boy...sounds like a good time.

Some space was donated to UM and what does UM do with that space? Instead of giving it to the MFA students , they give it to ole-stick-in-the-mud King of the Real Art....I'm sure Mr. Kentridge would have something to say about what Real Art is....(that would be a sight./..Kentridge versus Oldpro........

anyways congrats & stuff...(though i won't be there.guess i'm not an art lover...)

3.

dirty sanchez

November 29, 2005, 2:18 PM

"These artists are imbued with the rich tradition of western painting and want nothing more than to carry it forward, innovating within the medium. They are different from one another, but they are bound together by their need to make art that is a pleasure to look at, and they all feel that the ancient tradition of painting, when sufficiently renewed and refreshed, can carry a spark of the human spirit with somewhat greater felicity than a soup can or a pickled shark"

Better yet, i will stop by....I have to say., the prospect of being schooled in painting by the likes of that list of folks is just oo much to pass up....Maybe a review at goseeart.....

This IS going to be a fun week.

4.

dirty sanchez

November 29, 2005, 2:18 PM

"These artists are imbued with the rich tradition of western painting and want nothing more than to carry it forward, innovating within the medium. They are different from one another, but they are bound together by their need to make art that is a pleasure to look at, and they all feel that the ancient tradition of painting, when sufficiently renewed and refreshed, can carry a spark of the human spirit with somewhat greater felicity than a soup can or a pickled shark"

Better yet, i will stop by....I have to say., the prospect of being schooled in painting by the likes of that list of folks is just oo much to pass up....Maybe a review at goseeart.....

This IS going to be a fun week.

5.

onesock

November 29, 2005, 3:30 PM

You know, I probably could get into some of this work and enjoy it for what it is without comparing it to contemporary work that it is presented as being oppositional. I find it unnecessary to make such a dogmatic statement to justify its existence. Perhaps I could see some justification if this work was not allowed any venue to be presented. However, since an exhibition is in the works. What is the point? I will be in Miami and will enjoy all the festivals. Like some work, love some work, and be indifferent to others. I probably wont attend this show because I dont know if I could handle the pitfulness of it. (and i am not referring to how they look, although to some degree that might apply) Its just too depressing . The exhibit press release states that this work is just for looking at and enjoying the quality of technique and not as a comment on any sort of issue. But this statement betrays that it does have issues- this being that it is self conscious of its perceived obsolescence. If these artists and those that promote this art truly believe that this art has merit, then this sort of stance would not be needed.

6.

that guy

November 29, 2005, 4:34 PM

"Some space was donated to UM and what does UM do with that space? Instead of giving it to the MFA students , they give it to ole-stick-in-the-mud King of the Real Art.."

Sorry dirty, I think you are thinking of the Faculty show in the Buena Vista Building, I believe that space was donated. The space for the real painting show is being privately funded. The rumors are running rampant.

7.

Jack

November 29, 2005, 5:10 PM

I'm jaded enough that the prospect of another frantic turn on the Basel merry-go-round is mostly depressing. Been there done that, and the yield, which was never great, has been more meager every year. I plan to be highly selective, which means I'll pass on much if not most of the hoopla. However, I'm very glad the people behind Real Painting went out and put this show together--glad for them and glad for me. It's nice to have something to look forward to without reservations, for a change.

8.

Germain

November 29, 2005, 5:18 PM

onesock:
If a sincere attempt that is made by some Miami based artists who are serious about contemporary painting to present work that is just that --serious-- is deemed "pitiful" or depressing", then we are all in worse shape than I heretofore imagined. I for one get depressed when I look at sharks in formaldehyde or lame topical installations or poorply rendered juvenile boys frolicking in the twilight of pomo market-driven malaise. So, am I ready for therapy, or a healthy, stubborn believer who thinks that good art , art without any agenda except truth, beauty, and rigor can rise above the trash heap to attain something like raising the stakes at elevating the prevailing cultural consciousness?

9.

Magnum P.I.

November 29, 2005, 6:04 PM

From the sublime to the ridiculous!

You shouldn't have given us Memling & then expected us
to buy this! Maybe you should write an essay explaining it -
but that's a POMO thing, right? Is this the kind of art
that when legitimized inevitably leads to the work
you love to hate?

Are we just not supposed to notice the naked Emperor?

I see exceptions, but yes, for the most part, my kid could
do that...so there.

10.

Franklin

November 29, 2005, 6:08 PM

I probably could get into some of this work and enjoy it for what it is without comparing it to contemporary work that it is presented as being oppositional.

Actually, I agree with this. It's just fun to kick out the braggadocio once in a while, especially after prolonged subjection to claims for other work that we know is inferior.

11.

that guy

November 29, 2005, 6:23 PM

"my kid could do that..."

Great! send him over. I need some help in the studio.

12.

George

November 29, 2005, 6:34 PM

Onesock comes fairly close with But this statement betrays that it does have issues- this being that it is self conscious of its perceived obsolescence. If these artists and those that promote this art truly believe that this art has merit, then this sort of stance would not be needed.

There is a peculiar discourse at work here and they all feel that the ancient tradition of painting, when sufficiently renewed and refreshed, can carry a spark of the human spirit with somewhat greater felicity than a soup can or a pickled shark. The references to Warhol and Hirst are unfortunate. Primarily reactionary and defensive it adds little to the readers knowledge of what these artists might feel they are offering as a challenge to the current state of the art in painting. This is a retrograde argument, fighting an old war, Warhol? please get up to speed. There is a lot of new painting happening right now which will outflank anything here.

That all said, I thought Paula Celman's painting was something special. It seems like an outlier in her current body of work which bears further investigating. As noted once before I also liked Jordans piece.

13.

oldpro

November 29, 2005, 7:34 PM

Feels like 1863 all over again! Is there any other kind of art, any at all, anywhere, of any kind, that could insprire this kind of derison?

The answer is no, in case you were wondering.

Let us see some of that "outflanking" type art, George.

14.

George

November 29, 2005, 8:28 PM

OP, so we understand each other. I'm not refering to your work which is appropriately rooted in the past. But, I'm suggesting that the younger painters are playing it safe tyring to do the best they can but using the tools of their teachers.

A random selection of painters doing it another way

Gary Peterson

Torben Giehler

Frank Nitsche

Jules Balincourt

Peter Doig

Alison Fox and more of AF here

There are a lot of ways to make a painting.

but at least make something FRESH

15.

1

November 29, 2005, 8:32 PM

while following the memling would be difficult for 99.999% of the artist population, there is some great, good and above average work here.

bethea and bannard at the top-solid all around pics

massengale- this was a good choice being the best from his animal series that was linkable a few weeks ago. nice color, energy, and composition. with that link of varied works it highlighted that he has skill and is up to the challenge of breaking himself down for further potential. a drive to push his art making. the half finished portrait of the male face that was among the group that included the painted skulls and the drawn foot as the header was also good. in general he is good with the face. even those mangled ones had something. you have potential with this pic and your skill and determination.

blanco-good skill and feel

gambrell-hybrid fun and fresh

these comments only reflect what is on the real painting page and not previously viewed work.

16.

oldpro

November 29, 2005, 8:38 PM

Yes, George, those are different, all right. I don't know about the FRESH part. Most of it looks pretty old hat to me.

However, I don't choose to put any art down for being old hat. Good art is above fashion.

17.

George

November 29, 2005, 9:03 PM

OP, Come on, so nothing's new under the sun? That is a dangerous assumption to take literally, everything gets recycled. It becomes something useful when the recycler can repurpose the original through the knowledge and experience of the intervening interval between the old and the new. The old becomes new again (this is a particular power of youth, they just don't know it can't be done.)

I wasn't criticizing the works in the show in particular but I was giving an honest appraisal of how I think they might be viewed.
So I'll go along with the suggestions that you all give up the "poor me" posturing as if might give some validity to the groups position. It's poor PR because it deflects the attention away from the groups work towards someone else's. As in "ok they don't like Warhol or Hirst but… hmm what do they like" It's poor marketing

BTW, I wasn't endorsing any of the artists I linked, they were just accessible to me at the moment.

18.

1

November 29, 2005, 9:33 PM

i may be a little late because although you presented those artists now you are distancing yourself.

based on the images that came attached with those artists you linked, not one picture from the group of all of them can come even close to the bethea or bannard that are up at real painting. most don't approach massengale as well and i'm trying to give your group the benefit of a quick once over. and the only guy that is possibly at all original or fresh is nitshe. and that may not even be true. does not mean that i think he is the best of your group though. all the rest as you say is very recycled.

allison fox nada. could not crack the top 6-8 from real. no way and just weak stuff.

koenig cabin and canoe pics are ok to pretty good the others don't know. those 2 could approach between 3-6 at real maybe.

jules looks pretty good but unsure if the whole image even came through.

peterson maybe fits in at 4-7, but only with the top and bottom pics. 2 center pics are cheesy.

giehier. very cold and sterile but someone may like that. 4-8 on real maybe.

nitshe could be pretty good but i need to look at it more. decent drawing and comp, color soso

once again, bethea and bannard and even massengale out do most of that and blanco and gambrell hang right in.

19.

Jack

November 29, 2005, 10:02 PM

George, you're no less predictable, doctrinaire and self-righteous than what you accuse OP of being.

If someone truly thinks something sucks or is overrated, saying so is not "defensive" but merely honest. You can call people reactionary if you like, just as they can say you're trendy or afraid of seeming "out of it," especially given your age and location. That goes nowhere.

If you dislike or disagree with someone's position, fine, say so and give yours, but don't resort to ploys like ageism, which is like claiming that if an artist rips a more successful one, it's just jealousy talking. That's too easy and too simple, even if it's within the realm of possibility, which includes one hell of a lot.

As for old tools, what difference does their age make if they remain useful and valid? And what good is something new if it's not either of those things? Should we dispense with the wheel because it's not a fresh concept? And if students are not to use what they get from teachers, then why the hell bother with teachers in the first place?

20.

George

November 29, 2005, 10:17 PM

1, re#18 The list I served up was in response to Op's request for some artists. Most of the ones I linked were in my browser history which made it easy to find some examples. My point was less "who's better" than how other artists are approaching the problems of making a painting.

It appeared to me that about half the artists in the show are making work in the same vein as Bannard. For Bannard this is fine, his is a mature style, established a long time ago and it makes sense that he stays on the same set of tracks. For the younger artists it is more problematic, their work appears derivative and while this may be good for Bannard ,it's a dead end for the younger painters. The solutions are all the same, variants of nuanced color barely held together with flimsy drawing. Less than heroic aspirations.

With this point of view in mind I was prodding the others to look around a bit. If you don't think the work, of the artists I listed, cuts the mustard ,that's fine, steal what you like but move things forward, the water is getting stagnant.

I think the best painter of the bunch is Jordan Massengale but watch out for Paula, she's just a kid but has the touch.

21.

George

November 29, 2005, 10:29 PM

Jack, I'll stick with my observations that it's a poor marketing strategy which is how I read the intent of the excerpt. In corporate America you don't market a product by flaming your competitors. The typical lead in would be "features and benefits" which would list the positive aspects of your product, not what was wrong with your competitors. The fact of the matter is that Real Painting is trying to make a case for a group of Miami painters why take a defensive position?

Read my other remarks for more detailed observations on the work in general. Maybe you don't like what I have to say but I think it will probably be close to how a number of others will view the situation.

As for old tools… It was OldPro who was knocking this, I'm suggesting that one of the strengths of the younger would be to re-purpose them to new ends, what's wrong with that?

22.

oldpro

November 29, 2005, 11:21 PM

But George, everything you say is shot through with "old vs new". Newness only matters to fashion, not to art. And it is tiresome to keep hearing abou it.

The "defensive strategy",as you call it, consists olf taking a mild, good-humored poke at a couple of artists who are tired as all get out. Why are you making such a production out if it?

23.

onesock

November 29, 2005, 11:27 PM

To title a show “Real Painting”, as in “this is ‘real’ art as opposed to that crap over in the convention center” and to state “these artists are imbued with the rich tradition of western painting and want nothing more than to carry it forward, innovating within the medium….[and] carry a spark of the human spirit with somewhat greater felicity than a soup can or a pickled shark", screams a level defensive posturing that is almost juvenile. I realize that this attitude may not apply to these individual artists, and in that case, I think that it is unfortunate that, from my perspective, they are associated with a presentation that completely reeks jealousy. I read this as artists who think that what they do is the “real” deal and all that stuff creating such hoopla and attracting all those curators and collectors and art press is not, and why oh why cant MY stuff be in Art basel instead, why do I have to be so unappreciated and obscure?

And, I dont know anything about marketing, but I would agree with George that if these artists have this in their heads they are on the path to bitterness. And that is just sad. This is why I feel sadness contemplating this show.

24.

Franklin

November 29, 2005, 11:31 PM

Onesock, may I suggest applying a sense of humor to your interpretation? Because I applied one to the press release.

25.

onesock

November 29, 2005, 11:49 PM

Franklin,
I can appreciate the tongue in cheekiness of it if that was where you were coming from, a ribbing based upon the timing of the event. My comments were a “i calls em as I sees em” kind of thing. Please take it as such. Congrats on the show!

26.

oldpro

November 29, 2005, 11:53 PM

Whoever mentioned "crap in the convention center" onesock? (You had it in quotes). Why does a relatively mild position of opposition and the simple declaration of an honestly felt stanpoint arouse such seething anger and attributions of abject "jealosy" in you?

You can dwell in "sadness" if you like, but I think you might want to relect on your own reactions just a little.

27.

oldpro

November 29, 2005, 11:57 PM

Furthermore, whatever Franklin meant by "applying humor", I do not think he was writing "tongue in cheek"

28.

that guy

November 30, 2005, 1:06 AM

I think a bigger problem is that I'm not jealous of all those artists in the convention center. If I see art that has merit at Basel, I take what I can from it and move on. If I were jealous, I certainly wouldn't be dedicating my life to finding my own art. I'd be prattling off ideas on how to make art that looks like the next peter doig or the other turd polishers that George seems smitten by. There's is so easy to do. The only artists I'm jealous of are the masters. I guess they are masters for a reason.
I can't speak for this group of painters obviously, but I find it odd, as oldpro has noted, that most of this discussion has veered far from the art at hand and careened right into the character assassination and motive questioning bleacher seats. Get a life and go see the paintings.

29.

onesock

November 30, 2005, 1:54 AM

sigh.. so I thought in my last post I graciously got off my high horse, apparently only to find a coupla chaps waiting to kick me in my chaps!

Can I get a life AFTER I go see the paintings? I am afraid if I wait that long I will miss my plane.

30.

Kathleen/KH

November 30, 2005, 9:01 AM

Please explain to me why painters such as Gavin Perry and Jacin Giordano were either excluded from this show or not considered for it if, in fact, the show is about celebrating quality art (painting) that is a pleasure to look at?

31.

Franklin

November 30, 2005, 9:06 AM

I'd be happy to show alongside Gavin and Jacin. Jacin, especially, would have fit in well. Next time.

32.

Jack

November 30, 2005, 10:39 AM

Apart from potential contractual issues with their official gallery representation, Perry and Giordano are very nicely set up already, thank you. They don't need to be put forward or promoted, since they already are, and actively so. That's generally not the case with the artists in Real Painting, and that was no doubt one reason for putting the show together.

A more appropriate question, in my opinion, would be to ask people like Snitzer why these RP artists were either excluded from or not considered for representation in their galleries.

33.

oldpro

November 30, 2005, 11:12 AM

I go along with Jack here. Giordano, especially, is an interesting painter, but the show was put together at the last minute and some artists who have solid representation were not considered. And there may be more out there.

The idea is really to let the art world know that there is good painting going on which is not being taken seriously. And to try to sell something during Basel week, of course.

34.

Marc Country

November 30, 2005, 7:42 PM

"Manet said he was fed up with the 'soups and gravies' of the salon painters,... He saw a small picture in the Louvre that was attributed to Velasquez... and that's when he made this remark: 'No more soups and gravies.' And then he went to Spain to see more Velasquez and he caught on to Goya... That, as I said, was the beginning of modernism in painting."

Perphas someone will now tell us how Manet inappropriately rooted his art in the past! Or, maybe that Manet was just bitter and jealous of the more 'successful' academic painters around him. Brilliant arguments, all.

So, the "Real Painters" make a bold promotional claim (in a lighthearted press release) for their work, as against the overrated soup cans and shark gravies that characterize (and charicature) the salon art of today, and, unsurprisingly, a great wail is emitted by the "open-minded" folks here. Funny, as I'm sure this characterization would ring true for many regular folks who become turned off by the usual art fair fare.

But, maybe we should all see the work first, and then ask ourselves if it delivers on its claims.

Hey, maybe we should hold every show to this standard!

35.

Jack

November 30, 2005, 8:41 PM

While I am not comparing, let alone equating, the Real Painting show with the seminal Salon des Refusés of 1863, it is appropriate to recall that the latter (which included Manet, Cézanne, Pissarro and Whistler) drew crowds which came primarily to ridicule. Manet's Déjeuner sur l'herbe, in particular, elicited vicious abuse. Despite rejection by the art establishment and the many who (then as now) went with the official flow, that 1863 show is considered the beginning of modern painting. Opposition and abuse can, in fact, serve as a kind of validation. It all depends on the source.

36.

oldpro

November 30, 2005, 10:56 PM

Right on, Marc. See it and judge it. That's all there is to it.

Manet was lucky. He only had "stew and gravies" to contend with. At least those academic cooks could really paint.

37.

mek

December 1, 2005, 10:26 PM

my favorite piece is the logo for REAL PAINTING. ok! i'm kidding.

interesting grouping, although there are a few weak ones that perhaps should be excluded. actually sort of a strange mix here but worth checking out nonetheless.

38.

mek

December 4, 2005, 8:11 AM

I HAVE NOW SEEN THE SHOW and i think a crit is in order. Let it all hang out, my brothas.

I am glad you put this show together, actually, so i could see where you stand, in the midst of everything else. That was the point, wasn't it?

For now i will withhold comment.

39.

Franklin

December 4, 2005, 8:16 AM

Real Painting images forthcoming today for your critiquing pleasure, Mek.

40.

Chris

December 6, 2005, 2:04 PM

Franklin's painting at http://miamipainters.com/ doesn't make me think of Hofman so much as German painter Michael Toenges, whose work I like a great deal. See:

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=michael%20toenges

In particular, something like this:

http://www.patriciasweetowgallery.com/exhibitions/archives/000562.php

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