The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World

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Laura Hoptman, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2014. € 39,00

Ing., ilusts. cor, 184 pp., 31×24,9 cm, hardcover

“”Forever Now “presents the work of 17 artists whose paintings reflect a singular approach that characterizes our cultural moment at the beginning of this new millennium–they refuse to allow us to define, or even meter our time by them. This phenomenon was first identified by the science fiction writer William Gibson, who used the term “atemporality” to describe a cultural product that paradoxically doesn’t represent, through its style, its content or its medium, the time from which it comes. Atemporality, or timelessness, manifests itself in painting as an ahistorical free-for-all, where contemporaneity as an indicator of new form is nowhere to be found, and all eras co-exist. This profligate mixing of past styles and genres is a hallmark for our moment in painting, which artists achieve by reanimating historical styles or creating a contemporary version of them, incorporating motifs from throughout twentieth-century art into a single painting or a body of work, or radically paring their language down to the most archetypal forms. Published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, this volume features work by an international roster of artists including Richard Aldrich, Joe Bradley, Kerstin Bratsch, Matt Connors, Michaela Eichwald, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Grotjahn, Charline von Heyl, Rashid Johnson, Julie Mehretu, Dianna Molzan, Oscar Murillo, Laura Owens, Amy Sillman, Josh Smith, Mary Weatherford and Michael Williams.”

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