"Remote Viewing: Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing"; Whitney Museum of American Art

By Schwendener, Martha | Artforum International, November 2005 | Go to article overview

"Remote Viewing: Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing"; Whitney Museum of American Art


Schwendener, Martha, Artforum International


Artists are an opinionated bunch, so one often wonders what those included in group exhibitions think of the context in which their work has been placed. Sometimes I imagine they feel lucky; on other occasions dismayed. "Remote Viewing" triggered the latter suspicion. For while the venue was distinguished and each artist was afforded adequate space, the show's close focus on certain traits in contemporary painting made some of the artists look more like trendy copyists than unique practitioners. Curator Elisabeth Sussman strove to identify several symptoms in recent practice: abstraction with traces of representation or "referentiality," spiral compositions coupled with bright, "assertive" color, and the use of science, technology, or religion to generate "structure while retaining little identifiable residual information."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

The artist who best fit this scheme was Julie Mehretu. In fact, the show seemed virtually to have been constructed around her work. A darling of the 2004 Whitney Biennial, the subject of recent high-profile financial wrangling, and a MacArthur Foundation grant recipient, Mehretu is a virtuoso whose breathless graphic maelstroms, punctuated by splotches of bright color, effectively illustrate Sussman's notion of a neoabstract "invented world." Arguably the show's magnum opus, Seven Acts of Mercy, 2004, is an epic ink-and-synthetic polymer painting that conjures Leonardo's deluge drawings or quattrocento cartography reinvented for the digital age.

Sussman's vision of an abstraction that functions as "an amalgam of the real in the imaginary and the imaginary in the real" also finds support in the canvases of Matthew Ritchie, attempted analogues to mythology, religion, mathematics, and the structure of the universe. Only The Eighth Sea, 2002, which depicts a mass of octopuslike forms swimming in a light blue field, is a naturalist departure from his systematizing works of the mid-'90s. And while it may not, strictly speaking, construct an "invented world," it at least employs "spiral composition." Also consistent with the idea of a formal aesthetic laced with cosmic or apocalyptic references are the depictions of industrial plants in Franz Ackermann's acid-bright "mental maps," the images of helicopters that flit across Steve DiBenedetto's painterly encrusted surfaces, and the spacey doodles that punctuate Ati Maier's dense, quasi-naive compositions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

"Remote Viewing: Invented Worlds in Recent Painting and Drawing"; Whitney Museum of American Art
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.