If Display Becomes Materiality
Chilver, John. 2012. If Display Becomes Materiality. In: Edward Whittaker and Alex Landrum, eds. Painting With Architecture in Mind. Bath, UK: Wunderkammer Press, pp. 113-134. ISBN 978-0-9566462-1-7 [Book Section]No full text available
Abstract or Description
The essay considers the terrains of painting since post-modernism, or since approximately 1990, and develops as its central claim the notion that painting has become critically involved in a movement towards dis-incarnation and de-materialisation. In elaborating this claim the essay considers, in particular, the works of Glenn Brown, Michel Majerus and Ad Reinhardt. The modes of dis-incarnation evidenced in these artists are distinguished from both modernist painting (in its central concern with the object-qualities of painted surfaces) and stylistic postmodernism (as promiscuous hybridization that nonetheless continued to understand the 'objectness' of painting within a broadly modernist horizon). Robert Ryman is considered as the exemplary case of the late modernist practice of the painting-as-object. It is argued that recent painting has, instead, worked towards a demand for dis-incarnation and de-materialisation, which, however, is frequently linked to - and conditioned by - a materialisation of display. The essay argues that these circumstances, - in which overt materialisation of display is manifested alongside the explicit dis-incarnation of painting - define the unprecedented conditions for contemporary painting.