Isabelle Graw: The Economy of Painting - Notes on the Vitality of a Success-Medium

Introduction: Since the 1990’s/2000 painting became naturalised (again) after a period where it had to justify its self. Painterly practice…

Why? What did it have to do with the social and economic reasons. Yes, since 1960’s painting absorbed ‘painterly critique’ and revitalised itself, becoming less problematic. But also this talk argues for ‘vitalist projection’ - How the potential for painting correlates wth social / economic situation, and that its not by chance that painting also vitalises these social and economic projection.

8 propositions

1. Introduction - Ubar Damish-??? 

The bruskstroke is an indicator of subjectivity yet eg: Polke, Richter not so much,

‘traces of an activity of the eyes’

expansion and Vitalist projection - that paintings can think or speak, projected onto paintings

All artistic practices contain semiotics

Signs, the pointing finger, the author of the work, a sign points to something that it is not (Umberto Eco)

We are drawn to the signs, and the absent author not the thing depicted 

Authors intervention also is present in other art forms, but in painting, particularly the ghost like presence of the absent author is particularly relevant, produces this effect. Why?

‘Its physically, the emphatic, materiality of its signs’ - its index is different as its signs/index manifest the illusion that its author is present

Eg: sigmar polke

Poses as if it was the outcome of a higher command, and also that it painted itself. Undermining authorship, but also quasi subject hood pdf painting

Polke and Richter, trigger vitalistic projection

Alive of self active

The myth that painting is alive is activated in an ironic fashion.

The liveliness, we get from painting the life and the labor of the artist are spent in it. ‘Marxian concept ‘Living Labour’ but never reduced to it. An advantage of painting. The life of the painter is seemingly stored in it. A inner connection between paintings specific indexicality, labor and life time stored within it and value form.

Also observed in mechanical processes

Regained popularity as it seems to store the artists life time, Marx - Labor theory of value - value can only be generated in a material thing if labor and life time have been stored in this thing. No labor no value. eg: in the Post-Fordist condition, capitalist economy, etc (19.31)

It is the way we live that becomes commodified, painting is well positioned in this economy as it is saturated by the life of its author (as facebook), still at the top of the artistic hierarchy. fencing $$ in auction sphere, despite the defraying of the arts.

2. Why is my notion of painting? How can i specify something that has expanded?

An expanded notion of painting that captures its specificity

Not just a picture on canvas, such a restricted notion has been refuted by pre and post war actions such as: El Lizitsky - Brown room? Picabia - Monsiur Mock, Brown Room, Yves Klien,

Each attempt to question paintings boundaries has revitalised it…

Eg: Picabia-  readily captured consumer content, the ready made breathes new life into this painting. If we consider the readymade immaterial labour and the labour of others to enter the aesthetic sphere (John Roberts) living labour once it absorbs it. The transcriptions undermines the painting, but at the same time revitalises it again, as only living things can speak.

Again, fused together again Yves Klein painting, performance, conflation of painting and body that painting gets changed with life

Sigmar Polke - The large cloth of life

The large cloth of abuse

Art fashion and design

A relic that has been charged with the life of its maker

empowerment of painting

Painting not only flat picture plan on the wall. IT is also a series of marks, reach out dynamically in the picture plane, the marks point towards the institutional walls to point towards the epistemological condition. It can act like an agent. Again changed with institutional like qualities.

Amy Silman

Printed matter risen to the status of painting eg: Kippenburger

Jeff wall

Photography taking up the narrative and mimicking abstract painting

Painting within other mediums, painting everywhere

Painting acknowledging that it has expanded, while holding onto its specificity an image on canvas

3. The narrow bond between product and person

gaining a senes