Friday, April 9, 2010

Down with Up!

"For me, Rachel Whiteread has always been the most problematic member of the YBAs (the world-beating Young British Artists group led by Damien "Shark in a Vitrine" Hirst and sponsored by Charles Saatchi), if only because she is the most formally gifted of the lot, and the most openly and unironically indebted to modernist antecedents like minimalism, conceptualism and Arte Povera. I always found her work pleasant to look at, which is certainly more than I can say about Hirst, Tracey Emin and the rest of the faux-Duchampian blue-chip hacks of Albion. She does, however, share their notable lack of originality — which, due to indifference, amnesia and the marketing muscle power of Mr. Saatchi, proved no impediment to marketplace saturation and global critical accolades...."

"One artist who manages a remarkable tightrope balance with many levels of negativity — while always managing to surprise — is painter Karen Carson, whose work has ranged from minimalist geometric fabric "paintings" (with zippers allowing reconfiguration) to baroque, mirror-studded, cobbled-together architectonic abstract explosions; shaped-canvas cubist bouquets of decorative-clock flowers or stealth-bomber/vulture hybrids; vinyl banners combining Las Vegas gaming design with stripped-down Buddhist aphorisms; and backlit bar-style light boxes depicting raging forest fires. Her latest body of work continues her recent exploration of strategies like rectangular surfaces covered entirely with paint, constituting an image of a landscape. For Carson, that's pretty far out."

Read the rest of The Power of Negative Thinking here.

Rachel Whiteread Drawing for Water Tower VI 1997
Karen Carson Night to Day 2009

1 comment:

Mr. Homegrown said...

Up with down. Well said. Is negative the new positive?