Restraint & Limitaion

Restraint & Limitation curated by Matt Ballou

On view: Sept 25-Oct 19, 2017

Reception & curator talk: September 28,  4-6:30pm


Contemporary abstraction is a huge, multifaceted project. From Katharina Grosse, Julie Mehretu, or El Anatsui to Cordy Ryman, Odili Donald Odita, or Amy Sillman, the range of potential and diversity of referent available to artists is obvious.There are no clear boundaries, no distinct definitions that provide a unified perspective on the practice of abstract painting. That contemporary abstraction utilizes the history, physical interactions, and conceptual structure of painting is axiomatic. Yet to suggest that it is limited to the realm of painting is a dramatic misunderstanding. The old discourse that endlessly returns to the interplay between abstraction and representation has lost any potency to report on what is actually happening in muchof contemporary abstraction. With this exhibition, I hope to present a sliver-likeview into the modes of abstraction that intersect with painting as a form and which, in unique ways, demonstrate the limitations of depiction and representation toclarify the kinds of experiences that abstraction affords us. I also seek to show how smaller works may defy the conceit that abstraction is most powerful in its more monumental expressions.

The three primary artists here are women from different stages of their careers. They show commitment to the aesthetics and procedures inherent in paintingpractice today, yet bring diverse pressures to the form. Influences – ranging from post-paint materiality to provisionality to traditional hard-edged painting – form an invigorating view into a restrained yet evocative corner of artmaking.

Artists featured:
Sharon Butler, Gianna Commito, Anna Buckner, Jennifer Wiggs, Elise Rugolo, Lauren Steffens, Hali Oberdiek, and Jessica Thornton