Reading overview

Reading: Painting beyond itself: The Medium in the Post-medium Conditions

  • What remains specific or residually specific about painting?

Subjectivity - paintings have its “own discourse” and its “own narrative”

Painting has a life of its own and therefore can think or speak

In painting indexical signs predominates.

The indexical sign in painting forcefully point to the absent author who seems to be somewhat physically present in them.

  • In painting the physical form of its signs seems to get constantly emphasised, our attention drawn to the physicality of these signs.

  • Iconic and symbolic signs evoke a ghostlike presence of their absent author.

  • The indexicality of painting brings its author into play and can therefore be perceived as a manifestation of the artist.

  • Liveliness from painting = life and work time the artists has spent on it.

  • Paintings are enriched by the artist or through living labour

  • Paintings can’t be reduced to living labour as it withholds it as well

  • Labour and the lifetime of the painter are stored in the painting!

  • Indexical effect can be observed in mechanical or anti-subjectivity painterly procedures as well

  • Painting is able to produce the sensation that it has captured living labour

An expanded notion of painting that captures its specificity

  • Each attempt to question painting’s boundaries in the past has contributed to its revitalisation.

  • Picabia breathed new life into his paintings by incorporating the readymade into this work.

    • The painting becomes charged with social living labour once it absorbs the readymade.  Its fusion with the readymade represents a way of revitalising painting.

  • The boundaries of painting also dissolved when it was fused together with the artist’s body and performative elements.

  • Adding the body charges the painting with life

  • Performative works allowed for paintings revitalisation.

  • Works gain further power due to its proximity to the artist’s body. Like a relic it has been in touch with its maker and their life - it’s charged with it.

  • Painting can no longer be regarded as synonymous with a flat picture plane hung on a wall.

  • Not all painters restrict their activities to paintings along: Kippenberger used posters as a vehicle self-promotion

  • Painting acknowledges painting’s manifold historical expansions, while on the other hand grasps its residual specificity.

The Narrow Bond between Product and Person

  • Paintings can’t be reduced to the person as specific materiality prevents this.

  • Painting is a product that is saturated with one imagines to be the person of the artist but can’t be reduced to this person.

Painting’s Specific Indexicality

  • The index is physically connected with its object

  • Painting suggests a physical connection to the one who made it as it brings its author into effect

  • Painting is a highly differentiated language that consists of a number of techniques, methods and artifices which allow for the fabrication of the impression of the authors quasi-presence as an effect.

The Subject-like Power of Painting

  • Even if the artist hasn’t physically touched the work, it consists of indexical signs that capture our attention because they are affected by the power of their object, which is in this case is a subject.

  • Subjectivity not in the sense of the subject of the artists but in the sense of a general capacity - leads to a problematic anthropomorphic projection.

When the Critique of the Subject Turns Painting into a Subject

  • The more negation there is of handwriting, the more this negation will be considered to be the handwriting of the artist

  • Richter inscribes his own body movement into the painting, which makes it resemble an imprint

  • The more artists have tried to erase themselves from their work, the more subject-like their work is going to appear.

Painting’s Specific Value-Form

  • For an artwork to be considered valuable it must first be attributed to an author.

  • By experiencing or purchasing a work of art, it is possible to get a more immediate access to what is assumed to be the singularity of the artist and his or her life.

  • The uniqueness associated with paintings is even more able to implement this impression that the artist has been in touch with it - a quality missing in the copy.

  • Labour is not hidden or obscured as it is emphasised and cultivated forcing and heightening its aliveness or rather the impression that is it alive.

Liveliness as Valuable Resource

Painting seems to be one of the last places where the desire for a concrete foundation of value seemingly gets fulfilled.  Brushstrokes alone can be read as tracing labour and life activities. Paintings, therefore, generates the illusionary impressions that it is possible to grasp a fibre of the living labour that was mobilized for it - either by experiencing it aesthetically or by purchasing it.

  • The knowledge of a whole life of labour is meant to have flown into this painting, justifying its price that is evidently unlimited.

  • The picture on canvas condenses and stores up labour time in a way that is different from time based media like film and photography.

  • Experienced by the viewer at once rather than unfolding over time.

  • Painting presents liveliness in the form of a material object, which is not reducible to this aspect, and that non-reducibility might be its special attraction.


Exhibition Review 1

Jordan Kerwick | Micro | Macro: Paintings of Love and Hate

TW Fine Arts: March 7th - April 15th 2019


Exhibition Review 2

Dylan Jones | Stripped Back

Jan Manton: March 6th - March 30th 2019


Col hates being called Colin (Colin wearing a hat) , 2019, oil on canvas, 120x90cm.

Col hates being called Colin (Colin wearing a hat), 2019, oil on canvas, 120x90cm.

How the turntables (Heather on the couch holding a pillow while watching Queer Eye) , 2019, oil on canvas, 120x90cm.

How the turntables (Heather on the couch holding a pillow while watching Queer Eye), 2019, oil on canvas, 120x90cm.

Artist Statement: How the turntables (Heather on the couch holding a pillow while watching Queer Eye), 2019, oil on canvas, 120x90cm.

This painting is part of a recent series of work that aims to encapsulate the mundane, and often repetitive occurrences of the unfiltered human experience. In a day and age where everything is highly edited and curated I wanted to paint everyday moments of life that would normally go unnoticed. This artwork was inspired by my wife, who was highly invested in a Netflix series. Her gaze was transfixed on the uplifting and emotional nature of the show, with her body instinctively seeking comfort from a nearby pillow on the couch. The moment was innocent and without judgement, finding the beauty in the mundane of binge watching television. A moment of unfiltered and raw emotions unleashed in the comfort of your home.