Charline von Heyl
and Michael Williams
Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World. The show presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium: they refuse to allow us to define, or even meter our time by them.
curated by Laura Hoptman, Margaret Ewing
The Forever Now presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium: they refuse to allow us to define, or even meter our time by them. This phenomenon in culture was first identified by the science fiction writer William Gibson, who used the term “atemporality” to describe a cultural product of our moment that paradoxically doesn’t represent, through style, through content, or through medium, the time from which it comes. Atemporality, or timelessness, manifests itself in painting as an ahistorical free-for-all, where contemporaneity as an indicator of new form is nowhere to be found, and all eras co-exist. This profligate mixing of past styles and genres can be identified as a kind of hallmark for our moment in painting, with artists achieving it by reanimating historical styles or recreating a contemporary version of them, sampling motifs from across the timeline of 20th-century art in a single painting or across an oeuvre, or radically paring their language down to the most archetypal forms.
The artists in this exhibition represent a wide variety of styles and impulses, but all use the painted surface as a platform, map, or metaphoric screen on which genres intermingle, morph, and collide. Their work represents traditional painting, in the sense that each artist engages with painting’s traditions, testing and ultimately reshaping historical strategies like appropriation and bricolage and reframing more metaphysical, high-stakes questions surrounding notions of originality, subjectivity, and spiritual transcendence.
The exhibition includes works by Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Kerstin Brätsch, Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn, Charline von Heyl, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Oscar Murillo, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Mary Weatherford, and Michael Williams.
The exhibition is organized by Laura Hoptman, Curator, with Margaret Ewing, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, MoMA.
Major support for the exhibition is provided by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions.
Additional funding is provided by The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Craig and Lynn Jacobson, Ronald Marks, and the MoMA Annual Exhibition Fund.
Special thanks to the Aishti Foundation, Beirut.
Image: Kerstin Brätsch Blocked Radiant D (for Ioana) 2011 Oil on paper 110 × 72” (279.4 × 182.9 cm) Courtesy the artist and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise Copyright the artist Photo: Filippo Armellin
Sara Beth Walsh, (212) 708-9747 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Margaret Doyle, (212) 408-6400 or email@example.com
Monday, December 8, 2014 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.
The Museum of Modern Art MoMA
11 West 53 Street, New York, NY 10019
Hours: Saturday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Friday, 10:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Museum
Admission: $25 adults; $18 seniors, 65 years and over with I.D.; $14 full-time students with current I.D. Free, members and children 16 and under.