Comments on: Paintings by Francesca DiMattio and Alejandro Ospina http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/ 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: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-155164 Thu, 09 May 2013 08:53:02 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-155164 Have to say in the original review I had already said it was the best thing in the show; and have pretty much already dealt with the rest of the comment as well. I’m not sure everything has to be a ‘breakthrough’.

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-155161 Thu, 09 May 2013 08:46:11 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-155161 You are backtracking a tad here, so much so that you’re gonna have to turn about or you’ll stumble. The DiMattio was an awful show going nowhere, and although you might make a case for the Diptych painting being OK-going-on-interesting, it’s not exactly new or a breakthrough in our territory of abstract art, is it? And if it has anything going for it, it’s looking like a one-off.

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-155142 Thu, 09 May 2013 08:19:06 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-155142 Beyond pointing out that I’d already thrown the Oehlen off in the comments to Dan Coombs piece, I would say that the relation to the screen very much came second in my interest in (excitement by) the DiMattio (which was good over a second extended visit). And if it wasn’t for the articles by David Sweet (and the clear connection to the Ospina) I may have concentrated on the painting, without even mentioning the screen. If that sounds like a get-out clause it may well be one, but I’d prefer to stand by the painting rather than the theory.

For me the images in Diptych had their own reality, their own concentrated and striking sets of structures and substructures (I admit the other paintings fell down and the sculptures, unfortunately the most recent things, were pretty dreadful – real high-end luxe baubles). Because of the way the piece was collaged together, because of how vivid the various cuts, overlappings, disjunctions, rhymes and rhythms were within the work I can happily throw off a hypothetical ‘complexity and wholeness’ (the relative inaction of the colour was for me a more nagging problem, but again I can live with it). You may say this lacks commitment; and I would certainly agree to the extent that in a painting which puts all its eggs in the unity basket (!?) wholeness is a make or break clause (at least in the negative sense of not leaving any holes in the fabric). But I think it is important to keep hold of the things one responds to. Obviously not being an artist I do not have the same drive to this as you; but then again I would question the idea that narrowing down to “clear-water” examples is necessarily the most productive route to go down.

As a final (and not very important) point I think the flicked V’s comment may have some validity to Oehlen, but is clearly not at all relevant in DiMattio’s case – I really don’t think she has given a second thought to offending abstract painters. There are probably some “transgressive” thoughts but it seems unlikely they are aimed in that direction…

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By: Sam http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-150055 Wed, 01 May 2013 07:33:48 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-150055 Lot to respond to here. Will probably be a few days before I get down to it…

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By: Robin Greenwood http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-149747 Tue, 30 Apr 2013 16:15:03 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-149747 Having now seen both the DiMattio ‘Dyptych’ and the Albert Oehlen ‘Evilution’ at Zabludowicz, I am unable to share your enthusiasm for either. They are both comprised of predominantly figurative elements collaged together; in DiMattio’s case using a conventional if disjointed perspectival drawing; in Oehlen’s, just very sloppy bad representations of a column, a figure and some skulls, turned sideways (radical!). Over the top of these is some ‘abstract’ stuff (i.e., you can’t make it out), but in neither painting can I detect a coherent attempt to pull together some kind of meaningful and relational pictorial space, abstract or figurative. I know they both chime in with your theory, Sam, about mashing figurative elements into abstract painting, but the results here are without integrity or completeness. I think they both end up in the camp of surrealism, and that is certainly where the rest of the work in the two shows resides, particularly DiMattio’s gruesomely awful ‘sculptures’, and Oehlen’s painting with a film projected on top of it.

One of the other Oehlen’s – ‘Deathoknocko’ – which has an inkjet image printed on to the canvas with overpainting, is a dead ringer for a mad-cap Stella, a bad example of which you can see in Jacobson’s collage show at the moment. There’s just nothing to recommend about the experience of looking at them.

We’ve had a few viewpoints on abstract painting’s relation to the screen now, and I’m still non-plussed by the insinuated connection. The big question that all this work (and your essay) seems to take for granted is whether one is to judge and value painting as just another variety of image-making (singular or multiple), alongside and in competition with the manifold other sources of available images, including those on screen; or whether the experience of painting (in the flesh, rather than in reproduction) could and should be some other manner and measure of experience altogether. I certainly want and get more out of good painting than mere image(s), so collaging stuff together like this, although it challenges the conventions of formalist abstract painting, turns out to be as meaningless a protest as a flicked V-sign. None of these guys, not DiMattio, not Oehlen, not Stella, are coherently working through the problems of abstract painting in a developing way; they are just muddying the water even more, flitting from image to image.

As you know, I have as little wish to ‘bask in a single glowing presence’, à la Rothko etc, as you. I want complexity AND wholeness – that’s the measure of great art. We may not really know what we mean by wholeness in abstract art (or in figurative art, for that matter) but it refuses, in my mind, to be anything less than an imperative.

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By: Gloria Ospina http://abstractcritical.com/note/paintings-by-francesca-dimattio-and-alejandro-ospina/#comment-146742 Fri, 26 Apr 2013 19:22:32 +0000 http://abstractcritical.com/?post_type=note&p=6723#comment-146742 Very good interpretation of modern and contemporary art looking at the works of Francesca DiMattio and Alejandro Ospina:”the fragmentation and complication of both Spectacle.. and Diptych implies an active viewer. There is much more to do here than simply bask in a single glowing experience…”

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