November 7 - 28, 2015

REMAINS - abstract painting and performative mark-making against the tide of mortality

Ingrid Calame, Tomory Dodge, Scott Everingham, Jenny Hager, Alex Kroll, Susan Lizotte, Clive McCarthy, Max Presneill, Bryan Ricci, Kimberly Rowe, David Spanbock, Britton Tolliver, Steven Wolkoff.

All artists deal with concerns about their own mortality through their art works. The leaving of something in the world, that represents one's thoughts and ideas, is what art is about. But some artists look to the performative act of painting as an action that implies a conscious process of leaving ones traces in a bid to ask what life must mean in the face of death. The work requests that we engage with our own sense of mortality due to the actions of another. It demands an interaction with a new form of Existentialism. One where God has had no place but the secular drive to Being still thrums with potential.

This philosophical question is attended to but should not divert our attention from the more fundamental aspect of this: that we each must search for our own answers to this basic and unknowable mystery. The search is not, however, just an intellectual one. Rather, it is physical, primal. The movement, intuition and sensitivity that abstract painting draws from the painter, particularly if they are fighting against this dark night, leaves uncertainty everywhere for we can never know if we have succeeded in our ambitions, except for the redeeming hope that exhibitions will help leave a path to us after we have left this mortal coil. But as we will have exited the world we shall never know, never be certain. All we can do is struggle through with the belief that this is the reason Art matters.

To some this might seem a fool’s errand. But to the painter who pursues this lofty aim it is the epitome of Hope. For to invest in the value and meaning of art, into the humanism of painting, is to shout that what we do is important, that we each matter, regardless of outcome, that life is ours to decide, that Life is our own choices, is ours to grasp. It places responsibility open us. It is ours to own. So, although it is a struggle, each of these painters refuses to crumble, to concede. Their’s is a heroic battle against the odds, fully committed to and revealing the optimism and faith that we can share with others. This is where human power lies, where our past has grown from and where our future awaits……

This exhibition examines these 5 fundamental points:

1. The Existential moment of presence which codifies ones arena of being – in this case painting – to allow an artifact to remain as an object in place of the Self. The indicator of mortality.

2. The philosophical attachment to an action, painting, and the investment of belief and Hope that it entails.

3. A political moment – of choice and decision that allow for true freedom and the display of individual Voice.

4. Even when allowing for the direct translation via the established and recognized languages of painting constructed over the centuries there is a willful disregard for stylistic convention, a dislocated assemblage of opportunity and of a confident, intuitive trust in the Self.

5. Related to the original and base nature of graffiti as an expression of the powerless or subverting voices via text and image, rather than the decorative urban art movement.
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