Magazine article Artforum International

Udomsak Krisanamis

Magazine article Artforum International

Udomsak Krisanamis

Article excerpt

GAVIN BROWN'S ENTERPRISE

Udomsak Krisanamis lives, paints, and golfs in upstate New York. He is originally from Thailand--which is what the cellophane rice noodles that snake up and down the surfaces of his collage paintings refer to, right? Well, the answer to such a question is always "yes and no." Think of Rirkrit Tiravanija's Thai curry dinners and the sly ways his personal life informs his art. Krisanamis's Thai roots are less evident in his work than is his traditional approach to the craft of painting (and, I guess, his passion for golf). His art is right in line with the most venerated of modernist traditions, abstraction and collage; his densely layered, obsessively worked surfaces are like jeweled palimpsests, replete with expressive energy.

We're beginning to let go of some of the polemics of previous decades. Painting today doesn't have to "mean" anything per se; it is no longer obliged to break new stylistic and theoretical ground by distinguishing itself from past models. A painting can function experientially for the viewer as a purely phenomenal, retinal pleasure field while at the same time existing as a noumenal "thing in itself." Krisanamis doesn't have anything to say about what his paintings mean except that they speak for themselves. Indeed, the hand-wrought surfaces are articulate: The aforementioned noodles (which function more formally than symbolically), pieces of color Xeroxes patterned with numbers (mostly sixes, nines, and zeros in these works), and Magic Marker drawings are layered into mesmerizing grids that resemble satellite photographs or circuit-boards--images of raw information. …

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