Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

“The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World” (MOMA)

From MOMA : Forever Now presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium: they refuse to allow us to define or even meter our time by them. This phenomenon in culture was first identified by the science fiction writer William Gibson, who used the term “a-temporality” to describe a cultural product of our moment that paradoxically doesn’t represent, through style, through content, or through medium, the time from which it comes. ..
From a New Yorker Article about it, "Is there Anything Left to Paint"
... “Forever Now” is the first large survey strictly dedicated to new painting that MOMA has organized since 1958, when “The New American Painting,” a show of seventeen artists, including all the major Abstract Expressionists, went on to tour Europe and to revolutionize art everywhere. 
...painting has lost symbolic force and function in a culture of promiscuous knowledge and glutting information. Some of the painters in “Forever Now,” along with the show’s thoughtful curator, Laura Hoptman, face this fact.Don’t attend the show seeking easy joys.  
More about Atemporal:



  1. existing or considered without relation to time.

  • SNIPS from:
  1. There are new asynchronous communication forms that are globalized and offshored, and there is the loss of a canon and a record. There is no single authoritative voice of history. Instead we get wildly empowered cranks, lunatics, and every kind of long-tail intellectual market appearing in network culture. Everything from brilliant insight to scurillous rumor....
    We can trace this now through genetics, we can trace it through archeology. Times before humanity existed. Cosmic chronology. The way we learn about our things, through non-literary sources such as garbage, pollen counts, environmental damage, even corpses. You can look at what’s been learned from the corpse of ‘Otzi,’ this Bronze-Age European. Fantastic things.... 
    "We are in a period which I think is dominated by two great cultural signifiers. An analog system that belonged to our parents, which has been shot full of holes. It is the symbol of the ruined castle. “Gothic High-Tech.” The ruins of the unsustainable. 
    And the other symbol is the favela slum, “Favela Chic,” the informalized, illegalized, heavily networked structure of the emergent new order. The things that the twenty first century is doing that are genuinely novel, that have not been domesticated or brought into sociality." 

    Atemporality - rather like all of culture - globally, from all time frames, coming together and being mashed up - because so much is available to us. And because for the last 150 - 200 years - people have been throwing out the old culture - trying to create something new.  

    The examples given by the MOMA show - indicates this is the "American (Western-culture) version" With 13 Americans, 3 Germans, 1 Columbian (9 women & 8 men).

    Personally - I don't think that everything that has worked in the past has to be tossed out. And really, it hasn't been. The examples from MOMA are still pretty invested in the American style of Abstract Expressionism. I gravitate to the ones that can draw on nature in an abstract sense.

    The function of painting continues to be much the same as well - more or less expressing the philosophy of the times (or at least the philosophy of some - or what some think the philosophy of others - in power - is).

    Some Images from the MOMA show:

    Dianna Molzan. Untitled. 2009   Oil on canvas on fir, 24 x 20"

    Julie Mehretu. Invisible Sun (algorithm 5, second letter form). 2014   Ink and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 9' 11 3/8" × 13' 11"

    Michaela Eichwald. Kunsthalle St. Gallen. 2012    Synthetic polymer paint, oil, crayon, and lacquer on cotton, 10’ 9 15/16” × 51 3/16” 

    Michael Williams. Wall Dog. 2013   Inkjet and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 8' 1 1/4" x 6' 6 1/8"