Gone Formalism addresses new ideas about formalism as they relate to contemporary art by a small group of artists. This group exhibition asks, “What is formalism now?” Even as it continues to define art objects by properties of line, color, and space, contemporary formalism is variously described as intuitive, psychologically resonant, metaphysical, self-conscious, or neo-romantic. While socially relevant and even empathetic, the work does not overtly or visually reference popular culture.
ICA’s exhibition features new work by six artists who are keenly invested in form, but also humor, personal history, and politics, among many other ideas. Mark Grotjahn (b.1968, lives in Los Angeles) makes paintings and drawings that through repetitive mark making attempt a rare clarity. Evan Holloway (b.1967, lives in Los Angeles) uses the potential symbolism of color in sculptural works that meld diverse materials, as well as figurative and abstract elements. Jessica Jackson Hutchins’s (b.1971, lives in Portland, Oregon, and New York) papier mâché and found-object sculptures attempt to capture, through form-making, the ephemerality of the natural world. Liz Larner (b.1960, lives in Los Angeles) is known for addressing the history of sculptural form from a feminist perspective. Her work is consistently innovative with regard to materials and ideas. Charles Long’s (b.1958, lives in Los Angeles) practice has radically changed during the past several years, but form-making is still paramount, especially as portrayed in, and filtered through, the natural landscape. His recent work takes its inspiration and materials from the Los Angeles River. Gitte Schafer (b.1972, lives in Berlin) accumulates found objects—both man-made and items from nature—and coerces them into formalized arrangements that often resemble installations.
Mark GrotjahnEvan HollowayJessica Jackson HutchinsLiz LarnerCharles LongGitte SchaferGone Formalism 1Gone Formalism 2Gone Formalism 3Gone Formalism 4Gone Formalism 5