This exhibition features four artists who position themselves along the porous border between painting and performance, each with a different vantage from which they enter this space. This idea represents both a gesture back to action painting, one of the pivotal inspirations for performance art, but also a gesture forward as a way to reinvigorate contemporary painting more directly off the wall. As Barry Schwabsky writes: "In particular, the whole phenomenon of "painterliness" has a different value today than it did in the past. It functions less as a signifier of the individual artist's stylistic signature or as the trace of emotional expression ( . . . ) than as a way of allowing the painting to linger in the condition in which things are still unsettled, metamorphic, in transition".1 Although Schwabsky refers more specifically to the connective tissues between abstraction and image-based painting, these artists seem more interested in this idea of the "unsettled painting" as a means to push it to the very edge of its boundary, to question at what point it is still painting and at what point it moves into something else entirely.
The panels with acrylic lines
are vulnerable outside their box.
Open to the lost instructions of her
collaborators who suspend them
above clothes lines.
When I had them, I drove to New Mexico
and buried them at White Sands.
They stuck there like Cadillac Ranch
with their tails in the air.
They were looking for water, divination,
someone to assemble them.
He woke up to crimson and flame orange
like they punched him in the face.
A person formed from this pigment and plastic
cutoff. An island between two streets,
in-between the room and the dream
the figure merges with the wall
like nothing is there.
Paintings of rubber landscapes
ooze along the white floor like black rivers
or burnt fields along a foreign perimeter,
a skydiver's view
of a world expanding and narrowing in.
The rubber is dark, beautiful, and virulent
like everywhere she's been.
The ground is placed vertically into a painting.
Drips, stains, traces
are traced by shoes.
Nostalgia is erased
like De Kooning's Woman.
1 Schwabsky, Barry accompanying text, About Painting, Transition Editions, London, 2011.p. 77
Christie Blizard is an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Texas, San Antonio. She has been featured in many national and international art exhibitions including those curated by artist Mel Chin and curators Rene Barilleaux, Michael Duncan, Virginia Rutledge, and Carter Foster. Residencies and fellowships include the MacDowell Colony, Centraltrak Artist in residence program through the University of Texas at Dallas, and the SIM Artist Residency in Iceland. Her work has been featured in New American Paintings, Art in America, NY Arts Magazine, Artinfo, and NPR.