#44 Summer 2015
How does the digital, with its rapidly circulating images and high-resolution screens, influence the act of seeing? How is it changing the painted picture? Painting’s code is made and remade over long spans of time, in feedback loops, in dialogue with history. And again and again it stands in the way of progress. You have to dig deep to find out what it means to make pictures today. Here the painters give their answers.
In 1957 a group of artists, poets, and filmmakers founded the Situationist International in Paris. Michèle Bernstein was one of the few women among them. She wrote the novel All the King’s Horses in 1960 – when she was married to the group’s leading theorist Guy Debord – as a way of filling the young organisation’s coffers. This sentimental romance about the affairs of Parisian intellectuals was a pastiche of Françoise Sagan’s Bonjour Tristesse and became a bestseller. Christian Egger writes on the book, which was recently translated into German.
Why are people now taking a renewed interest in Giorgio Griffa’s work? Perhaps because around 1970 he had already anticipated many of the concerns of painting today, with his serial gestures and unprimed canvases nailed onto the wall. Eva Fabbris writes about how the artist developed a unique position between Conceptual art and Arte Povera.
In her collages from the beginning of the 1980s, Julia Wachtel made the image-worlds of Pop and trash collide. When she turned to painting, she remained loyal to her technique of hard cuts – which she has maintained ever since. Bob Nickas looks back on the era of infotainment, when picture-making was reinvented.