Also, I want to add a question #2. For those that are dealing with younger artists than ourselves, do the Bay Area types still work that way for the millenials? Or who do you see doing that, being that kind of discovery?
I once mentioned Rauschenberg. And I’ve seen Rosenquist, too.
I don’t know that they do. I’ve never had a student get into them, especially on his or her own steam.
Diebenkorn was my fave for quite a while back then. I loved the sprawl of those paintings. They are wide open in their appearance and intent. They were just past the over-blown NYC Ab-Ex arguments about non-objectivity.
One other thing about them that really appealed to me was (as far as the literature leads you) they made their own scene. I was in Tulsa at the time, so that was kind of a hope-inspiring thing to learn.
But as far as younger-gen people getting into them, the problem there might be that they’re a coda to Modernism. There’s not much about them that feels like “now” or that even points to “now”. Maybe they’ll be due for a revival in 10 or 20 years.
I think that the Bay Area work doesn’t entirely track for the youngsters. The kind of work that seems to make young minds perk up of late has a more confrontational edge, or is maximal and sprawling. Kehinde Wiley’s new work at Deitch would be a case in point…some students are just responding the extreme scale or the verisimilitude, others to the dissonance of the contemporary mashed-up with the art-historical. I dig ‘em too, for the record.
I am thinking, however that the Bay Area guys could be great examples to show for the Figure Painting course that I will start teaching this spring..something about the way a single brushstroke can operate as gesture and description of form, space, light, all at once.
i will say i was pretty surprised by the response of my undergrads when we went to st louis – by far the most excitement was generated by jusepe ribera’s “saint jerome” and serra’s “joe” at the pulitzer, and the anselm kiefer at the saint louis art museum. richter’s “betty” was fawned over less than those works. i was kind of surprised, what with all those big old new york and bay area abstractions on display.
The sense I get is that this younger generation has a finely tuned sense of spectacle. Kiefer, Rosenquist, Rauschenberg. My design classes this semester got excited about Beatriz Milhazes, Polly Apfelbaum, more elaborate Sol Lewitt. They think I’m a fuddyduddy because I won’t text and drive, and when I talk about less-is-more in design all they can reference really is 8-bit graphics.
Some of it is stuff that has to be steered a bit. Some of it could be kind of fun—I’m psyched to see some hot new painter riffing off Lisa Frank.