PX: Thoughts On Painting

PX: Thoughts on Painting was published following the two-part PX exhibition at St Paul Street Gallery, AUT University, Auckland – A Purposeless Production: A Necessary Praxis, curated by Leonhard Emmerling, and Snow Falls on Mountains Without Wind, curated by Jan Bryant.

This book functions both as a theoretical study of painting practice – two opposed essays disagreeing about the supposed purpose or operation of contemporary painting – and an exhibition catalogue, illustrating in full the wide variety of practices that made up this show of the work of painters (in the widest sense) from New Zealand, Europe and the US:

Whitney Bedford, Richard Bryant, Amelia Harris, Dil Hildebrand, Colin Lawson, Saskia Leek, Patrick Lundberg, Michel Majerus, Fiona Macdonald, Isobel Thom, Barbara Tuck, Genevieve Allison, Guy Benfield, James Cousins, Simon Glaister, Kerstin Gottschalk, Katharina Grosse, Simon Ingram, Imi Knoebel, Tumi Magnusson, Paul McCarthy, Judy Millar, Ben Morieson, Gerhard Richter, Nedko Solakov.

Bryant and Emmerling’s essays pay particular attention to the legacies of conceptualism and the diverse relations that contemporary painting holds with various art-historical, philosophical and political discourses. Here we find the figure of painting radically expanded for the twenty-first century.

Fusing Kant’s definition of art as ‘purposeless’ with Adorno’s notion of the autonomous work of art as the only one with utopian potential, Emmerling’s text considers painting’s complete uselessness as the basis of its inalienability. Bryant adapts Jean Paulhan’s ideas on cliché and terror and attempts to delineate a certain genealogy that might account for aspects of contemporary painting practice that can’t be folded neatly into dominant art-historical discourses, even when a dialogue with art history is being carried out.

Texts by Jan Bryant and Leonhard Emmerling
Designed by Tana Mitchell

PX: Thoughts About Painting
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