Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Lamplighter


Ah the art degree job hunt... is there anything sweeter? Looking for work with double degrees in studio art with an emphasis on critical theory leaves one feeling about as a competitive in today's market as a lamplighter. Which is why I'm taking a little break from this spirit lifting work to plug the reading group I attended this past Sunday which was really quite good.

This past Sunday we read a piece by Dan Nadaner about critical theory's place in the evaluation of contemporary painting, and which if either is relevant in relation to the other. I found this to be a pretty great text to read especially in the context of lovely Sacramento where painting is still as relevant as always seemingly without question. In the end Nadaner suggests that perhaps the real question lies in how it is we evaluate what we look at and that painting may not be dead but rather our means for analyzing it could use some revamping. In an age where anything is possible and much of art revolves around cultural and global content, the subjectivity of painting almost seems like a polite leisure activity. Note that I said almost. For this reason we must be careful in the way we evaluate painting, analyzing it as its own distinct medium with a very specific visual vocabulary.

My one disappointment with the group was that it was almost entirely composed of hornets. This is a bummer considering the fact that the program is sponsored and hosted by the CCAS. Hopefully as the program continues - it runs through October - the attendance will beef up a little. Don't get me wrong, hornets are fine, but considering the fact that a Contemporary Art Center's mission should be to educate its community about contemporary art it would be nice if the were more art community members at the discussion.

I know that what I just mentioned sounded a little snoozy, but the discussion was actually quite lively, touching on everything from the nature of painting and how it should be discussed, to various contemporary works, to what art is in general. If you are interested in learning more about the program or attending the next session or sessions - man, I can't write the word Session these days without wanting a beer(!) - go to www.ccasac.org

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