<$otino corsano conceptual art new genres$>

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kim Andrews @ Olga Korper Gallery



I dislike how practical tasks take time away from important objectives and I am on a mission to write about the work in Kim Andrews’ 2012 solo exhibition at Olga Korper Gallery.



I think there is this similar banal plight in artists – to secure time for ‘isolated’ creative endeavors as one of a long list of repetitions. Yet another: the term “painter’s painter” and I have often considered this duplicate designation.  In my view the reference has many meanings. It may refer to the work of an artist who has so drastically reconfigured the medium in advance of any anticipated progression. The take commonly involves these revolutions to be somewhat exclusively appreciated by other specialists who have the perspective of a localized vernacular to both comprehend the maneuver(s) and appreciate the shifted implications. Architects who reconfigure the definition of abode and analogue producers who dismantle digital productions are stereotypes.

“My god, may I know how to spell “Chrysanthemum” in school tomorrow: from among the different ways of writing the word, may I happen upon the right one.”
- The Poetics of Space


There is also a link from the meta-title to mentorship or apprenticing: Mike Kelly draws from the obscurity of Douglas Huebler’s conceptual paradigms; Cindy Sherman ensures Suzy Lake and Elanor Antin get nods at her MOMA retrospective; Koons adopts Johns/Rosenquist/Kostabi for his personal narratives. One does not have to remain in an art realm to discover this entrepreneurial, catapult effect launched by a lucky break generation riffing low-key pioneers. iPads are clearly visible (resting on futuristic cafeteria trays) in stills from Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.   


This under-recognition – possible injustice - is the bane of originals; yet notice how I skirt the problematic issue of first origins.  Still, it seems obvious to us – vision after all is instantaneous (or at least a negligible duration) – when a move brings us to a place beyond the board.


Kim Andrews’ work has charted past the boundaries of a very precise and concentrated field of visual study – if not to a point of saturation (the field is inextinguishable) at least to unexpected states of equilibrium (minus the Spalding basketballs). The most recent work makes me reconsider the new territories of experience beyond classifications like vector/bitmap; line/space; vision/light; France/Canada. I enjoy how the inherent formal attributes in certain painting approaches – in this instance a custom structuralism – commands the immediacy and presence of viewership while rendering any documentation a humorous attempt.


I am not a betting man nor do I, like Robert Irwin, have a knack for picking out prize horses at the races or able to confirm by sight the level of customization in collector cars. I do know enough about basic investment to bank on property value and although this conservative approach does not always literally transfer well to landscape paintings, there are new genres more safe than sure. Andrews’ long-term yield is locked since the principal triptych in this show, “Pink, Blue and Yellow”, is pristine and climbs after more than three decades. 


I asked Kim if I could describe these works as figurative and he deferred the read in favor of first intentions - of radiating luminance advancing from the surface (as opposed to any atmospheric or illusory light effects in perspective). Although he later entertained my thought when I evidenced the two thin, gritty yet unified, red strands on the left canvas – the ‘first’ originating from the outside frame at lower left pointing towards a ‘second’ red sliver hovering almost perpendicular and just off center close to top. 


I’ve always found great light-heartedness at the discovery of these seemingly self-graffitied, meandering hairlines revealing the lifeline and signature of the author in a single random mark. The green-tinted skin tones in the center canvas recalled The AGO’s largest Varley loot – although I’m aware this default read is tangent to the objective tenants of Andrews’ specific colour and structure.


Compositions never become more heightened than when they are reduced to streamlined essentials and Andrews has long since mastered this play of planes to a degree where masking, natural edge and transference are pliant to an incalculable sum. This show is about relationships. Between an art dealer and an artist. Involving complexity well put. I am simply fortunate, at one critical point in my academic career, I learned it is the heart which supplies blood to the brain.


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