Saturday, May 26

one million thesis chapters: chapter 5


The Tyranny of Choice

Of course the mixed blessing of being a painter in these pluralist post-modern times is that any way of making a painting is valid. Ultimate freedom comes with the price of a stifling quantity of choices. The irony we see everywhere in a world of pluralism is that more choices leads to less confident decision-making. Even when a painter narrows in on the intention to deal with the legacy of abstract painting, how does she justify which colors and shapes and combinations are chosen anymore? I have noticed that contemporary abstract painters turn to systems to justify their decisions.
A common strategy of system painters is to use maps in some way – a zeitgeist I like to refer to as Mapstraction. I am no different than these abstract painters who cast about for systems to generate interesting work, but since my systems use the found object – both as a system to find paint and as a system to find its surrounding elements, (its dimensions, support, and walls) – they are embedded with a critique of the arbitrary nature of much abstract work today.

Bruce Pearson checks out the buttresses.

Bruce was our visiting artist this semester and changed our lives.
This is one of his paintings, "Encyclopedia 3 (relative calm sounds of gunfire and footsteps sadly familiar sheds some light)" courtesey of his gallery, Ronald Feldman. You can also see his gouche work on the Pierogi website flatfiles. The paintings look like line drawings in the photographs but those lines are cut...the paintings are actually made on Styrofoam cut into a relief sculpture and weigh hundreds of pounds when all the painting is done.

Jason Coates, my studio neighbor for these two years (a typical arrival to the studio would sound like this, "morning JC!" "morning to YOU jc."), proudly poses in my show.

He has a great new website: and will be moving with the two women in his life - wife Carrie and cat Kevin - up to New York this summer!
This is an old pre-grad school piece of Jason's I've been really excited about since seeing his website:

I had fun defending these things in my thesis defense:
"What are these?"



elliottcarter said...


elliottcarter said...

Jared you are mind blowing in three dimensions