Go With the Flow


Go With the Flow @ The Hole.

“The Hole is proud to present our summer exhibition in the main galleries, Go With The Flow, looking at the diverse and contemporary uses of sprayed paint. From aerosol to airbrush and further into the field of atomized paint, these artworks range from the slickly gradiented to the more surreptitiously sprayed, with a lot of flying paint in between.

Atomizing paint is an approach often associated with the automotive world, industrial painting and products, even down to the boardwalk airbrush tee. The history of contemporary artists using spray is more limited; Surrealists explored the nascent technology, Kandinsky, too; and really not too much else went on in sprayed painting besides a 60s L.A. airbrush movement or Jules Olitski until the slick fabrication art of the 90s upsurge in industrial painting techniques. After digital technology made the world of images screenic and pixelated, gradients reappeared in painting as a mainly digital aesthetic with compressors the easiest way to achieve them in painting.

Simultaneous to all this, of course, the 70s and 80s birthed graffiti culture, the single most impactful global image movement, and the world’s cities have been covered in spray ever since. Besides the often-embarrassing graffiti art in galleries, this aesthetic mostly influenced painting from afar, with artists like Sterling Ruby borrowing the tools and vibe, or Barry McGee conceptually tackling the culture head-on with his animatronic tagger sculptures and huge fill-ins on museum facades.

But the commercial and the graffiti are not the only two angles from which to approach sprayed paint and this exhibition looks at the diversity of uses it has for contemporary artists now. Since Tauba Auerbach turned her Deitch Projects Williamsburg studio into a spray booth back in 2009, the number of emerging artists I have visited whose studio was prophylactically plastic-ed over for atomized paint is staggering. ” – The Hole

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