Orphans of Painting
Curated by Raúl Zamudio
September 14, 2017 - October 14, 2017
Frames of War (frameworks wherein certain lives are regarded as worthy of protection while others are not, precisely because they are not quite “lives.”), 2017
Orphans of Painting is an exhibition of international artists who, on the one hand, may identify first and foremost as painters but expand their practice into other formal registers creating hybridized art forms somewhat disparate from their primary medium. Evincing this is the painter German Tagle whose appropriation of Andrew Wyeth’s Christina is morphed into a wall painting with audio extract from David Lynch’s Lost Highway. This work raises an interesting ontological question: is it a wall painting with auditory element or is it a sound work with visual component?
In contrast are other artists in the exhibition who are not painters per se, but work in a variety of media and their participation includes work that conceptually veer towards painting but from another formal point of departure. Exemplary of this is Kay Rosen’s video titled Blue Monday (2015). Known for her text-based works and installations, Rosen’s contribution underscores language’s imagistic quality or in this case the work’s title alluding to music via synesthesia while underscoring the monochrome’s capacity to evoke emotion; e.g. green with envy, red with anger etc.
The subject matter in the individual works comprising Orphans of Painting may be topical, historical, or personal, but what unifies them is a politics of form, specifically usurping the rhetoric of medium specificity and in the process extending painting into different areas as well as its retrieval by other media including sculpture, photography, video, performance and installation. In doing so, the artworks embody what is referred to in the exhibition’s title; that is to say, they are artistic orphans of sorts with an ostensibly corrupted and mongrel pedigree, but nothing that can be identified as being singularly derived from easel and canvas.
Raul Zamudio is a New York City-based independent curator and writer. He has curated or co-curated more than 125 exhibitions in the Americas, Asia, and Europe including Here is Where We Jump!: 2013 La Bienal, El Museo del Barrio, New York City; co-curator, City Without Walls, 2010 Liverpool Biennial; co-curator, Constellations: 2009 Beijing 798 Biennial; artistic director/curator, Garden of Delights: 2008 Yeosu International Contemporary Art Festival; co-curator, Turn and Widen: 2008 Seoul International Media Art Biennial; and co-curator, Poles Apart, Poles Together, 2005 Venice Biennial. He is author, co-author, or contributor to 86 art-related books and exhibition catalogs, and is Corresponding Editor for Art Nexus and has written for many periodicals including Contemporary, TRANS, Zingmagazine, Journal of the West, Tema Celeste, La Tempestad, Art in Culture, [Art Notes], MAG, Framework: The Finnish Art Review, Public Art, and Flash Art