Art is in and of itself a form of abstraction; painters use pigments and materials to convey an image or emotion. There’s an essence of control in these ideas — a painter applies brush strokes carefully. But the current exhibit in the University Galleries, POUR, plays with this control.
Nine artists from around the country throw out standard techniques in the creation of their art, and instead choose to pour the paint onto their surface and guide the flowing paint after the fact.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, the Schmidt Art Gallery held a symposium discussing POUR with several of the artists in attendance, as well as Tyler Emerson-Dorsch and Stephen Maine, two writers specifically asked to discuss the idea of abstract art for the exhibit.
Maine, a contributing editor of the online art magazine Artcritical and a member of the International Association of Art Critics, focused his discussion on abstract art from a historical perspective, noting its rather cyclical nature.
“The master narrative,” Maine said, referring to the idea of artists influencing each other, “if it exists, loops back on itself. It’s a spiral, not a march through time. It’s just funny that how the pour, the materiality of the paint is coming through a bit of a resurgence.”
This is evident in the work of Kris Chatterson, the youngest painter to be exhibited in the POUR exhibit. His work is a strange mix of old-school painting techniques and digital manipulation. Stephanie Ribeiro, a senior art history major who works in the Schmidt Gallery, finds his work the most interesting in the exhibit.
“The Kris Chatterson ones, they’re more grid-like,” Ribeiro said, “and he kind of printed this pattern on to this clear kind of film, then afterwards he brushed paint on it. I like what he did there.”
Or, as artist Ingrid Calame put it in the exhibition’s catalogue:
“Pour: Extinct! liquid discoveries. Pieces, remains, excavation. Sizzle-swatch-swift tiny increment of poured liquid. Splash drop run-over squashed fried lifted painted deteriorated fragmented chipped peeled rubbed remaining scoured walked-through spalshed [sic] graffitied sizzled serendipitous stinky. Found. Tracing: crawling kneeling drawing determining. Negotiating. Trespassing. Collaborating communicating coordinating. Subjective accurate.”
POUR will be on view at the Schmidt Art Gallery until March 23.
[Ed note: This story has been updated since its original upload.]