Black, White or Neutral?

difference

The following slide shows include works by some of the hottest contemporary artists on the planet. In an art world that prides itself on innovative outside-the-box thinkers and their unique visual expressions, it's surprising to see as many similarities as differences between the leading art. But while the results might suggest the same questions and conclusions, each artist explores very different ideas and materials within a similar context. Some decry a current lack of detectable movements in the contemporary art world. We wholeheartedly disagree as these slideshows will exhibit.

Spending more money doesn't buy better quality either, but what else isn't new?  Street values for this selection of 50+ works range from less than two thousand dollars to the low millions. If you're puzzled by this disparity, don't fret. Even the rival forces of the academic and commercial factions of the art world often wonder in unison why one artist clicks while a supposedly more talented artist doesn't. For once the ivory towers and the street dwellers seem to agree: There is no single rubric to assess all art. Even if one existed, we'd probably skew the interpretations anyway.

For these two slide presentations, we chose artwork that coagulates around two of the many defined sets of characteristics currently in vogue with serious collectors and investors alike. Both series feature muted colors, often monochromatic palettes. Black and white are notably favored. The works are minimal and only occasionally hint at any form of representation. When identifiable features actually exist, content is limited to stripes, circles or simple geometric shapes… some random, some intricately measured. Forms, materials and methods become the content.

Another highly-sought set evolves around grunge abstractions featuring raw strokes, scribbles or paint sprays. This is the realm of some of the materialists, the process artists, the repurposing movement and some deconstructionists. Works with minimal attention to framing or finish are big, even if the sloppiness is anything but random. Incorporated media and tool selection remain diverse, as are the methods of application. A closer look will reveal differences from piece to piece. In only a few instances are any two works virtually identical after a reasonable amount of scrutiny. Much of this work seems conceptually identical but the materials and processes vary greatly.

Personal application methods hint at artistic intentions. Oscar Murillo paints with a mop and broomstick, tools of his past that work well for his exploration of class conflict. Javier Bassi applies black photocopier toner over newsprint and sometimes substracts to achieve his white lines. Wade Guyton chills out while his Epson wide format printer applies the blacks, the printer's imperfections morphing into content. Tauba Auerbach and Dan Shaw Town create lines by folding and unfolding their substrates. Others draw them by hand or with the assistance of a ruler. Lucien Smith sprays his paint with a fire extinguisher, some use a spatula to build up their buttery richness. JP Paul explores evolving memories through layers of substrates. Isabel Ethcavarria, Jay Makins, Nicola Branning and Shawn Sebastian utilize combinations of recycled and repurposed objects such as broken umbrellas or construction site rubble. Gerhard Richter prefers random squeegee swipes. And there's also the thick gestural strokes of Brendan Lynch and Chris Succo.

Does it surprise you that the galleries representing this work range from the elite top-tier galleries to artists found only on non-curated websites or in their personal studios since no gallery has yet to offer representation of their work? It shouldn't. What it demonstrates is that success in the field of visual art often evolves around nothing more than exposure and opportunity.

Spoiler Alert:  Artist names appear under each picture in the slide show.

Clues. Included are works by the following leading artists: Alex Hubbard, Andy Boot, Brendan Lynch, Dan Rees. David Diaz, David Ostrowski, Fredrik Vaerslev, Grear Patterson, Harold Ancart,  Hugh Scott-Douglas, Jean-Baptiste Bernadet, JP Paul, Jeff Elrod, Joe Bradley, Matt Connors, Mike Bouchet, Ned Vena, Oscar Murillo, Parker Ito, Rashid Johnson, Wade Guyton, Taylor Park, Tony Lewis, Nick Darmstaedtler,  Sergei Jensen, Chris Succo, Nic Branning, Luke Diiorio, Ethan Cook, Max Frintop, Jacob Kassay, Shawn Sebastian, Jay Makins, Isabel Etchavarria, Kadar Brock, Lucien Smith, Matt Sheridan-Smith and Ryan Estep. 

This is a virtual who's who of bright upcomers and current stars of the contemporary market. As counterpoint, included are strikingly similar work from as early as the 1930's by major modern artists including Agnes Martin, Kasimir Malevich, Robert Ryman, Kenneth Noland, Elsworth Kelly and Barnett Newman.

Spoiler Alert:  Artist names appear under each picture in the slide show.

 
 
 
 
Copyright Note: Images were found openly available on the internet. All copyrights are held by the respective artists and/or their commercial representatives. We have reproduced these images here for educational fair use towards the purposes of research and study only. For more information about our copyright policy, please read here. If you are the holder of any copyrighted image found on this site and would like them removed, please contact us and we will do so immediately.

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