Paint­ing Fur­ther Along the River

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • The Big Bang of Electronic Art: Merging Abstraction and Representation in the Age of Digital Imaging

Presentation Title:

  • Paint­ing Fur­ther Along the River

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • Panel: The Big Bang of Electronic Art: Merging Abstraction and Representation in the Age of Digital Imaging

    I came of age as a painter in the 1970’s, and was also for a while a critic, edit­ing the mag­a­zine Artscribe in the UK. Ex­hi­bi­tions of what we now term ‘con­cep­tual’ art claimed to go ‘be­yond’ paint­ing. There was talk of paint­ing being ‘over’. By the eight­ies paint­ing seemed to be resur­gent. The mil­i­tant styles of min­i­mal art were chal­lenged by free-form gen­res – new image, neo-ex­pres­sion­ist, pat­tern paint­ing. Dis­putes be­tween fig­u­ra­tion and ab­strac­tion were set aside. Whether you put a fish, a tri­an­gle or blob of or­ange in a com­po­si­tion did not re­ally mat­ter. I came to com­puter graph­ics in the mid eight­ies, and was in­spired by the free­dom, the colour and the speed. I aimed to in­te­grate all this with what en­gaged me in ‘reg­u­lar’ paint­ing, along with its de­vel­op­ing cul­ture. I still work in both modes most days. I think of it all as ‘just’ paint­ing. A blue is blue, what­ever the medium. I guard against the il­lu­sion that these won­der­ful new paints make you into an ‘ad­vanced’ artist. Yes, we have the free­dom to scan any­thing and throw it into a mix –I do this as ir­re­spon­si­bly as any­one else – but some­times you just get Pho­to­shop soup. I would like ‘dig­i­tal’ paint­ing to look un­forced. It does not have to be photo-based, log­i­cal, weird, noc­tur­nal, nat­ural or un­nat­ural. My own ap­proach has been draw­ing-based and some­what ges­tural. As for whether it is ‘rep­re­sen­ta­tional’ or ‘ab­stract’, well I would pre­fer it to be just play­ful.

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