Starting from the conception of a painting as a place to meet, different approaches can be observed in this international group exhibition. The show looks into the various ways that contemporary painters stage encounters, be it imaginary or with an abstract other. While some of the works guide the spectator’s imagination by delivering a figurative scene or by creating an interior with meaningful objects, others retreat into an exclusive, painterly world, where forms seem to float freely, or where there is no clear sense of perspective but merely the immediate impact of color, surface, and shape instead. The different ways the artists create and handle pictorial space is an extension of their conceptions of what a painting should be or present, and how it anticipates the presence of the other.
The works of Caitlin Lonegan (USA, 1982, works in Los Angeles) are developed through a slow process in which the artist works simultaneously on several different paintings. Her work is about the nuances in looking, and it evolves from re-thinking the gestures that are available in the history of painting, such as those of the impressionists and the abstract expressionists. Through different layers of paint, she creates an atmosphere on the pivot between subjective and objective. The artist sees her work in an active dialogue with the tradition of painting. She notes: “I don’t want to do what Monet did back in 1890. I want to do what a Monet is doing to me now.”
This exhibition is curated by Jurriaan Benschop, who works as a writer and curator in Berlin and Athens. His book Why Paintings Work (2023), contains chapters on several of the exhibiting artists.