As Heinz Mack and Otto Piene wrote in 1957: "The main tendency was the purification of color as opposed to the informel and neo-expressionism
; the peaceful conquest of the soul by means of calm, serene sensibilization." The group's values ring of the utopianism of Yves Klein (who often showed with them), though most of their actual works seem more aligned with Laszlo Moholy-Nagy's book Vision in Motion (1947).
With the enormous commercial success of actual neo-expressionism
in the '80s, gestural painting was raked through the mud once again.
O leg Holosiy (1965-1993) was a Ukrainian artist associated with the Transavantgarde and Neo-Expressionism
Whether it is curatorial gimmickry or pure naivete, this exhibition reminds us that neo-expressionism
can still be startlingly neo.
An outlier of '60s Pop, a cousin to '70s "bad painting," and a precursor to '80s neo-expressionism
and appropriation, Colescott diverged from these tendencies in emphasizing the calamities that racialized projection foists upon us all.
Carved out of darkness, light furthered their mystical aims to purify color from the mud of art brut and tachism, their actions "opposed to the informel and neo-expressionism
" of an earlier generation, in their own words.
A Frenchman who immigrated to the US in his adolescence, studying at UCLA and then CalArts in the '70s, he surfaced in the '80s amid waves of New Image painting, neo-expressionism
, and appropriationist practice, making a place in this environment with new-imagery mash-ups.
Like the thirty-seven other wall pieces in this exhibition, a midcareer retrospective curated by Christopher Bedford that also includes video, three-dimensional objects, and installation, The Some of Its Parts is decorative, compositional, and made tip of colors, apparently arbitrary, drawn from mid-'80s Pop--and mid-2000s pop-culture repress: Peter Halley meets neo-expressionism
meets Kanye West.
His work is animated by the tensions created by its dichot-omies--between knowingness and innocence, grandeur and intimacy, constructivism and organicism, immediacy and monumentality, neo-expressionism
and neo-geo, a traditionalist's love of oil paint with an assemblagist's resort to vernacular materials (bread, foil, glitter).
By the middle of that decade, neo-expressionism
had been swallowed whole by postmodernism's conceptual and deconstructive strategies--appropriation, simulation, commodity theory, the study of art as market or as exhibition itself.
My memory of the rapid American embrace of Dahn and Dokoupil around 1983 (reflected clearly in Prince's enthusiasm) is marked by their noteworthy early stylistic confraternity with the neo-expressionism
of, say, Julian Schnabel or George Condo and, to be sure, several members of the East Village phenomenon, Donald Baechler most particularly.
The portraits possessed enough verisimilitude to crosswire neo-expressionism
's value systems, thus achieving a knowing postmodern position to which much of the '80s New York art world (in which Robinson was heavily involved as an artist and critic) aspired.