Comments on: And then again – Daniel Sturgis at noshowspace http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/ 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: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-406491 Thu, 06 Mar 2014 12:20:16 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-406491 As I said, it’s hard for me to really know how to take anything from here, but the “cartoon” look, if that’s what they have, is old hat, so not very interesting.
I started to think about this because of an interest in Vasudeo Gaitonde, an important Indian modernist, and because yes, the forms in my watercolors are pretty characterless and generic. But where I depart from the norm is that the total arrangement of the forms is not some equally generic grid or implied grid.
Instead of banning figuration maybe it’s an idea to be more precise about exactly what kind of figuration counts as abstract enough. Probably Impossible to decide. Or we could try and decide how much of all the many things that the people around us care about we should ignore. A political stance. Or maybe these things can’t be decided theoretically. But then if “abstract” art turns out later to be figurative after all we’ll just have to accept that and move on.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-406203 Thu, 06 Mar 2014 06:09:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-406203 Hi Robert, I like this ‘characterless forms meant to guarantee abstractness’ (do you think of your forms in relation to that?) & agree that it comes down to how much of the world an artist thinks should be allowed (in that there has to be something of the world there, in someway or other). Sturgis intentionally and obviously plays with pushing his boulders into figuration – as literally cartoon boulders; also with his little discs that he balances on the boulders, which seem like cartoon characters. I don’t like this approach – this is partly taste, but it does seem self-limiting, and aimed at a particular and restricted niche (in the red painting the small cartoon dots balanced on the boulders seemed to serve almost no function, perhaps apart from identifying the paintings as by Sturgis). However when I visited I liked the two larger paintings more than I expected to – perhaps this was the hang, but they had enough visual – graphic – energy to keep me engaged.

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By: Robert Linsley http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-405647 Wed, 05 Mar 2014 18:17:29 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-405647 Sturgis’ work has a few features I could endorse, though it’s hard to judge from an internet mediated distance. The presiding genius seems to be Mary Heilman. Interesting to ponder the distinction between these “boulders” and the soft rectangles of Gouk/Pollock et.al., if there is an important one. I call them “characterless” forms, meant to guarantee abstractness. I think there’s a better way, but all resemblance can’t be banned. Maybe it comes down to a question of how much of the world you think should be allowed.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-405208 Wed, 05 Mar 2014 09:16:22 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-405208 Sturgis has found his “niche” in modern painting. It’s a tried and tested (and academic) way of building a career, because everyone recognises your style; but, like many other painters, his is a pathetically narrow little niche, and he can’t afford to move around too much in case he falls out of it altogether.

(I should add that his paintings are not abstract at all, but are a very graphic and simplistic kind of figuration.)

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-405060 Wed, 05 Mar 2014 05:29:13 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-405060 At the risk of sounding corny, I’m tempted to answer “life”

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By: Mark Jackson http://abstractcritical.com/note/and-then-again-daniel-sturgis-at-noshowspace/#comment-404213 Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:47:14 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=7946#comment-404213 Very good, nail-on-the-head-question:

“What is avoided in his careful stripping down of different formal languages?”

… and why avoid?

Is it maybe about holding on to a precarious and yet clearly identifiable position within the saturated field of abstraction? Dan’s as carefully placed as one of his boulders?

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