Again, as with Olitski, this is not quite what I have in mind. Bannard’s use of colour is very interesting, in particular the low colour contrast between minimal components. He has also used a grid as an organizing structure in his works. This use of muted tones contributes to what has been called the “unreality” of his forms. This is interesting in the context of painting as an exploration of a space of possibilities. This also connects with an interpretation of his work as improvised but constrained by conceptualism. In the case of the Zombie Formalist the system improvises as a random generator, but where conceptual(?) constraints actually come from the system’s attempt to model the preferences of the audience.
I’m part way trough “The New American Abstraction 1950–1970” to get started on my post-painterly abstraction research for the Zombie Formalist but realized I’ve been looking at the third in a three part volume! So I need to go back to the other volumes that mention artists I’ve been considering as inspirations such as Mark Rothko, Elleworth Kelly and Gene Davis.
While Oliki’s aesthetic is not quite what I am after, I found a few ideas quite interesting; I’m interested in the emphasis on colour as structure, and the tention between homogeneous and hetereogeneous composition at varying scales. Paintings made with the airbrush (like the above) remind me of some of the structures that emerge from my segment collages as part of Watching and Dreaming.
I’ve been thinking through the gargantuan task of deciding what 4 images from the whole history of painting I should appropriate in this project. The general focus of my practise as an image-maker is on the relation between images and reality or interiority; this project should reflect that. I have in mind a trajectory of abstraction starting with the mathematical effort of objective representation in the Renaissance and ending with abstraction and problematizations of realism in painting. Since the Zombie Formalism project will focus in particular on post-painterly abstraction and colour-field painting, I was thinking about the four painting sample as including two works from the Renaissance (perhaps early and late), one surrealist, and one cubist work. I’ve been thinking in a very top down way by considering first the movement, then the painter and eventually narrow things down to the painting.
Art(ificial Intelligence). Madhvi Ramani for The Wilson Quarterly. Spring, 2018.