Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Take dead aim on the rich boys. Get them in the cross-hairs. And take them down.

Jim Dine, Five Feet of Colorful Tools, 1962

I just saw the artist list for the Seattle Art Museum's upcoming show, Target Practice: Painting under Attack, 1949-78, and it looks incredible: John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Mel Bochner, Jim Dine, Dan Flavin, Lucio Fontana, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Lozano, Bruce Nauman, Yoko Ono, Richard Pettibone, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, and Lawrence Weiner, among many others too numerous to list here.

Lucio Fontana, Spatial Concept, Waiting, 1960

Not only is it an impressive group of artists both passed on and presently working, but I'm happy to see that the curator (SAM's Michael Darling) apparently saw fit to focus this show not just upon artists whose attacks on the conventions of painting occurred at a literal, physical level, but also those who challenged the privileged position of paint on canvas on more fundamental – ideological and conceptual – grounds. While it would be an understatement to say that it's a lot of territory to cover in one show, I'm definitely excited to see how it comes off.

Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Henri Matisse), 1964

Darling will present an overview of the exhibit on June 5 as part of SAM's First Fridays lecture series. The show opens to the public on June 25.

Mel Bochner, Language Is Not Transparent, 1970

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