Still

Palin, Tom (2014) Still. [Show/Exhibition]

Abstract

This exhibition, curated by Richard Baker and Tom Palin, brings together five painters: Richard Baker, Mark Dunn, Tom Palin, Luke Steele and Adam Stone, in order to explore a seemingly determining condition of painting, namely: stillness. Within formalist discourse, flatness, surface, medium and objecthood have been important locating points; used variously when attempting to determine a foundation for painterly meaning, and to, in effect, re-address painting’s oft-questioned ontological status. Stillness, however, tends to be framed within narratives of subject—in respect of that which painting is seen to address (and, consequently, is seen not to be). To be still is to be both unmoving and atemporal, and yet painting has its own time. What of the time taken to make to conceive of the work—to plan, realise and complete it? Moreover, what of the time taken to confront it, describe it, be moved by, or to interpret it? These activities situate painting: they draw from the material object of painting, which is both a form of result and an index of actions, intentions and motivations. The painters included here, though approaching the making of painted objects in varying manners, nevertheless remain aware of the centrality of the medium, and its spatial and temporal limitations in respect of the identity of the work itself. This serves as the local context for this exhibition, against the background of more recent debates concerning the material, historical and conceptual parameters of painting today, and the impact of the digital too.

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