Betke's manipulations of surfaces through processes of addition and subtraction bring together strategies of gestural painting
, decollage, scuffing, and erasure.
Aside from consistently enlarging the source image and obfuscating the surrounding text--title, author, publisher sometimes just barely visible underneath layers of pigment--Prince indulges a broadly gestural painting
style that conflicts tellingly with the conventional restraint of the underlying template.
This would obviously contrast with the more flamboyant polyphony often associated with allover gestural painting
This piece demonstrates her ability to strike a balance between the gestural painting
fashionable in those years and her own personal approach, which also used a pictorial idiom derived from comics.
This tension animated so there, it's air, with the installation's floor-bound portion inviting approach to wall-bound passages of gestural painting
only to be interrupted by giant X's and a stretcher facing the wall, even while a halo and concentric band of rectangular lines illusionistically promised the opposite.
In other words, he essentially "draws" with wet-into-wet colors, then distorts his drawing (usually fairly basic linear or dotted patterns) by flinging it onto the canvas--a distinctive twist on the familiar-enough interplay between intention and accident as well as on the vocabulary of gestural painting
Absence and mark, void and depth, speak to the conflicting impulses at play in the work and in the language of gestural painting
Naturally, given the character of gestural painting
, certain margins of error are tolerated in light of the distraction afforded by overt brushwork and other tracks of engagement.
It's a welcome chance to take stock of this central aspect of Oehlen's work, especially now, as discussions around gestural painting
Three large paintings faced off to brilliant effect: a Twombly-esque iconographic index, Open Ibri Gabe Gabe, 1983; a splendidly sinister Photorealist image of a man in sock garters and cowboy boots catching a ball before an audience of sophisticates (Regardez-moi [Look at Me], 1970, from the series "L'Approche"[The Approach]); and Giotto--Atelier de Gasiorowski, 1984, a vigorous, gestural painting
of a hooded figure hulking away from the viewer, remarkable in its spontaneity and handling of space.