A generation ago, in the latter third of the twentieth century, post-modernist deconstructionists were finished with abstraction. It was dead, they said, along with painting itself. But in the intervening decades, two things happened. First, this deconstructionist idea became entrenched in academia, and second, it was proven to be wrong beyond any shadow of a doubt in studios, galleries and museums.
|"Suture," by Harmony Hammond.|
I bring this up because of the way that the spectacular Harmony Hammond: Becoming/Unbecoming Monochrome (which is rapidly coming to a close) at RedLine makes the point. Hammond, who lives in New Mexico, has created a body of abstract paintings over the past five decades that are at least as relevant to current ideas about making art as the controversial Aspen Art Museum piece that featured tortoises with iPads strapped to their shells. Actually, they are more so, because unlike the tortoises, Hammond's paintings are both smart and tremendously beautiful.
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