Amy Sillman: The ‘Facticity’ of Paint

… [Amy Sillman] has helped lead the charge over the last decade for a reinvigorated mode of abstraction, alongside colleagues like Laura Owens, Julie Mehretu, Joanne Greenbaum or Jacqueline Humphries. These painters, mostly women, have reclaimed the potency of active brushwork and visible gestures, which for so long had felt played out. Their work is smart as hell, but not afraid to laugh at itself. Conversant with digital media… yet committed to the facticity of paint.

… Ms. Sillman is in a thin crowd (with, let’s say, Andrea Fraser, Hito Steyerl, Matias Faldbakken, David Salle) of artists who can really write. The evidence is in “Faux Pas,” a just-published collection — her fourth — of her writings that display the same good humor and intelligence of her best paintings.

“It was the first time I cried at a museum,” she says, remembering the irises at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. “Because he was so tortured. The flowers were flowers of misery. Tears of dejection and tears of joy…”

(Jason Farago, “Amy Sillman’s Breakthrough Moment is Here,” NYTimes, 10-8-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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