Comments on: New paintings by Fiona Rae http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/ Abstract Critical is a not-for profit company aiming to establish a new critical context for all generations of artists involved with ambitious abstract art. Sun, 09 Nov 2014 17:23:33 +0000 hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/#comment-155896 Fri, 10 May 2013 08:22:08 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6614#comment-155896 Nooooooooooo… . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/#comment-155349 Thu, 09 May 2013 15:31:07 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6614#comment-155349 Roll on the Gary Hume retrospective!

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By: Luke Elwes http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/#comment-155319 Thu, 09 May 2013 14:47:29 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6614#comment-155319 I wouldn’t dispute that: what was fresh in the late 80s, the ironic deconstruction of painterly excess, has become institutionalized. Halley and Rae are both brands, their output marketed as blue chip investments, just like the Neo Expressionists they once sought to overturn. I do not envy them their predicament, Rae in particular, given that she is still comparatively young. You could read her replicated bears as poignant reminders of the commodification of the surfaces they decorate, suggesting perhaps that she’s more alert than Halley to her situation.

Her show at Timothy Taylor coincided with a show nearby of Mat Collishaw, another Goldsmiths contemporary caught in this commercial bind (‘This is Not an Exit’ at Blain/Southern). His sterile and repetitive paintings of discarded paper ‘wraps’ are a crude reference to the sorry aftermath of boom-time excess (of cocaine, cash and art). Like Rae he suggests the moment that gave their work currency has passed, and yet he chooses to make the point (without apparent irony) in one of the very spaces that seeks to perpetuate it.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/#comment-155260 Thu, 09 May 2013 12:01:49 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6614#comment-155260 I think the comments toward the end of John Bunker’s piece on Halley are relevant here. Could you not say that the ‘reality’ she is up against, what her work plumbs for, is the ‘reality’ of being a profitable, successful artist?

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By: Luke Elwes http://abstractcritical.com/article/one-of-my-terrors-is-boring-people-new-paintings-by-fiona-rae/#comment-155252 Thu, 09 May 2013 11:49:13 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=article&p=6614#comment-155252 The show is interesting in as much as it poses an unresolved question: how to continue with an activity so thoroughly ironised by her own practice? Logically there seems nowhere for her to go; she realises she cannot develop, only vary the terms of her deconstructive approach.

The paintings manifest a crisis: is there any compelling reason to continue producing “Fiona Rae’s”? .’Sometimes (she says in her statement) it’s hard to justify the act of painting; its expressive and gestural marks can seem unwarranted and unconnected to anything much in the so-called real world, and even worse, the nightmare of painting’s history haunts the studio.’
The pandas illustrate rather than resolve the nature of her conundrum. Since they cannot by definition extend her practice, they can only make play of it. And ‘play’ is the perhaps the point; she evidently needs and wants to continue painting – an activity she clearly loves – regardless of the diminishing intellectual returns. The pandas may be arbitrary yet serve their purpose for her as a device to excite pleasure; they embody an understandable desire for respite from ‘the nightmare of painting’s history’. Their quirky presence represents a kind of plea to her knowing audience to relinquish control of the picture’s meaning and gives it a kind of vulnerability largely absent in her formative work. In so doing she answers one question with another: if I’m having fun does it really matter that as a consequence they abstain from critical discourse?

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