Supports/Surfaces and Raphael Rubenstein

Cherry and Martin's exhibition Supports/Surfaces is Alive and Well seems, well, a little unnecessary. It includes work from the radical French painting movement Support/Surfaces along with work of local artists Jennifer Boysen and Noam Rappaport . I don't mean to say any of the work is unnecessary, but the idea that this type of work might not be alive and well is what strikes me as odd, especially considering the amount of attention Provisional painting receives. 

Raphael Rubenstein reviewed the Supports/Surfaces retrospective exhibition at the Musée d'Art Moderne of Saint-Étienne back in 1991 in his essay The Painting Undone and its certainly worth a read. Unlike other radical movements of the time Supports/Surfaces did not turn its back on painting....
“Our movement was also a movement of revolt, social as well as esthetic,” he  Dezeuze) has said. Supports/Surfaces was looking for a means of “revolting against the art world and the world in general without having to make anti-art.”52 Allying themselves with Maoist-inspired Parisian intelllectuals, conducting their internal relations like a communist cell, seeking a place for their work outside the (capitalist) market, Supports/Surfaces was light-years removed from the world of Post-Painterly Abstraction. 
And yet, for all their revolutionary zeal, the artists of Support/Surface were sincerely concerned with the specific problems of painting. For them, a simple renunciation of its existence did not seem sufficient. They held that if the then-current stasis of abstract painting was to be overcome, it would have to be done within the domain of painting itself-but not in what they saw as the rigid, nihilistic manner of the BMPT group....The Supports/Surfaces artists were driven by the feeling that painting had still not come to terms with its most basic conventions, hence, of course, the group’s name, which proclaimed the materialist basis of the project. More


Installation view of  Supports/Surfaces is Alive and Well'  
Louis Cane (Left and Center), Cherry and Martin, Los Angeles 
Daniel Dezeuze  (Left) Louis Cane (right)

Jennifer Boysen (center), Claude Viallet (right)

Noël Dolla (second from right)
Pierre Buraglio 
Masquage Vide 
Masking tape on tracing paper 
Jean-Michel Meurice 
'Toile trouée' 
Mixed media on canvas 


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