Panel discussion on provisionality in artmaking
- I’d like to start by asking each of you for your own definition of (what has been named by critics) provisional or Unmonumental artwork? Or how do you know it when you see it? Panel members discussed the opening at length with two very key points being made- there's a definite evidence of artistic practice and a loose attitude towards materials.
- What do you consider it’s most important elements? "the moment is more important than the eternal"
- Brian Dupont in A Provisional Explanation that http://briandupont.wordpress.com/2013/01/13/a-provisional-explanation/wrote that “The rise of so-called provisional strategies in abstraction was first identified by the critic Raphael Rubinstein[ii] and has subsequently been expanded by other curators and writers[iii] who have enlarged his basic taxonomy into an ever widening ecosystem of artists who seemingly eschew craft, finish, precision, virtuosity, and even ambition. The central problem is that the discourse surrounding provisional strategies does not rise above identification. The label is trend-spotting or cool hunting for the newest fashion, but since the provisional is not an organized movement, school, or even well defined set of tendencies it can easily be applied to almost any art or artist.”
4. At the beginning of his article Rubenstein asked "Why would an artist demur at the prospect of a finished work, court self-sabotaging strategies, sign his or her name to a painting that looks, from some perspectives, like an utter failure? It might have something to do with a foundational skepticism that runs through the history of modern art: we see it in Cézanne’s infinite, agonized adjustments of Mont St. Victoire, in Dada’s noisy denunciations…, in Giacometti’s endless obliterations and restartings of his painted portraits, in Sigmar Polke’s gloriously dumb compositions of the 1960s. Something similar can be found in other art forms, in Paul Valéry’s insistence that a poem is “never finished, only abandoned,” in Artaud’s call for “no more masterpieces,” and in punk’s knowing embrace of the amateurish and fucked-up. The history of modernism is full of strategies of refusal and acts of negation."Considering that - What do each of you consider your own relationship or interest in the Unmonumental, casual, or provisional? Why are you here tonight? None of the artists considers their work provisional but Peebles presented an exhibition on Provisional Painting at Groundswell Gallery, Fodness' interest in the topic possibly intersects with his attitude towards materials his interest in "Unmonumental" sculpture (reference the book Unmonumental, the Object in the 21st Century), and Bruce Price occasionally references these strategies in his prolific art making.
5. What is it about something that can be considered casual, dashed-off, tentative, unfinished or self-cancelling- artworks that deliberately turn away from strength- for something that seems to constantly risk inconsequence or collapse” what is it about that type of work that peaks our interest and is demanding attention again? –ie- the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis first painting exhibition in more than 10 years, Painter Painter, is dealing with inconsequential works.How does this type of work hold our attention? Bruce Price explained that in the last ten years the ability of what was previously discarded mark making now is able to hold his attention (comment on the expansion of acceptable marks).
6. How does one differentiate between the inexperienced and the casual?
7. Brian Dupont, defending provisional painting, wrote extensively on lack of time, resources and failures that “Artists today[xviii] are confronting an increasingly ramshackle future where aesthetic, political, economic, and ecological promises have been revealed as failures. If they are seeing a future where issues of scarcity become more urgent, materials must be recycled or scavenged from surplus[xix], and long-held political standards become increasingly irrelevant, it would seem natural to see trends in painting (re) emerge that question formal equivalents of these standards.If a provisional vocabulary can provide a timely reinvigoration of the expression of individual concerns, that should be all the ambition anyone needs in a painting.”Do you believe that these strategies of refusal are a reflection on our present and future aesthetic, economic,political and ecological failures? Both Fodness and Peebles were in agreement that this was not the case. In fact, they believed it was the opposite. That materials are so plentiful and ready at hand that an artist could find the resources to make art at a breakneck speed. The Autoconstrucciones Suites of Abraham Cruzvillegas was brought up as an example.
8. Can provisionality be a riff against the allurement of the art market?
9. Rubenstein calls it the “art of exhaustion”- Do you agree?
10. Do you have any examples of non-provisional painting that some may confuse with PP? Why arent’ they P? (artists like DeKooning, Basquiat, Pollock, Agnes Martin? Looking for unexpected outcomes?Rauschenberg- some of his work is and then isn't.
11. We’ve mostly talked about abstract. Is it only abstract provisionalism? Or as Rubenstein noted with roots in DADA, cubism, impressionism, etc can it also be non-abstract? If so, any examples? What does that do, how does it differ? What could it look like?
12. If it could be non-abstract on the scale between non-objective and abstract towards realism- Would it tend towards what Brian Dupont considered strategies of refusal? Refusal of Western History?Resources: “Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century" review of exhibition in the New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/30/arts/design/30newm.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 and the book- http://books.google.com/books/about/Unmonumental.html?id=FWDqAAAAMAAJ Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites at the Walker Art Center http://www.walkerart.org/calendar/2013/abraham-cruzvillegas-autoconstruccion-suites