Exhibition Catalogue Essay & Print Publication - December 8, 2016
Around the turn of the new millennium, and just as painting was undergoing a periodic declaration of its own demise, seven painters— Jason Eisner, Mariangela Fremura, Joren Lindholm, Tyler Loftis, Chris Protas, Dov Talpaz, and Jason Williamson—solidified their association as the core members of Painting in New York. It was a radical moment in which to pursue painting for the sake of itself, but the artists were undeterred. The diverse group first came together while attending the Studio School in New York in the late 1990s. Though their styles differ greatly, they are united by a foundational trait: the achievement, on canvas, of making space palpable. Their teachers, particularly Studio School founder Mercedes Matter, the influence of who has been profound, reinforced this tenet. Instruction had its roots in European painting, and in particular the teachings of Hans Hofmann, who underscored the importance of spatial considerations in conjunction with audacious color experiments. From these lessons each member of Painting in New York has carved their own path, a series of desire lines cutting through an otherwise untouched field. Theirs is a distinctly American sensibility, an unfettered freedom that these artists are not beholden to the rules and manners of a centuries-long tradition.