Next up in our series of nine artists leading the revival of abstract art: Matt Connors, Keltie Ferris and David Ostrowski
Presenting a discourse on the resurgence of abstract painting in new art today, visual arts editor Francesca Gavin in the latest issue of Dazed & Confused introduced us to some of the most exciting new abstract artists to look out for. Alongside the full print feature HERE, this week we'll be posting daily updated features on nine of the artists - having kicked off with Alex Hubbard, Tauba Auerbach and Niall McClelland yesterday, we now continue with the currently exhibiting Matt Connors, and Keltie Ferris and David Ostrowski.
Known for her experimentations with texture, New York-based painter Keltie Ferris's luminescent spotted canvases are layered with splattered acrylic paint, oil pastels and oil paints. Having studied at Yale under Peter Halley, an abstract artist known for his graphic paintings exploring ideas of circuitry and systems, Ferris also works with layering vibrant colours to produce results that relate to real things rather than something purely non-representational:
“I think there’s a lot of colour in American culture, in the physical world, the printed world, the digital world, the visual world and the media world. It’s almost infinite. Whereas black and white and grey, that seems so much more contrived... I’m really interested in radiation, like an energy bouncing around a canvas. Or I’ll want them to stack up like a tower, like a monument.”
Exploiting the openness of interpretation, German painter David Ostrowski focuses on the 'nothingness' of his pieces. A former student of Albert Oehlen, Ostrowski's raw, haphazardly painted canvases are sometimes shown online in a zine format, playing with context and presentation. His F series paintings are displayed as if on pages, interspersed with black-and-white photographs of German mullets, fragments of text or images.
“Currently I’m doing paintings about nothing. I have no ideas, no motivation and no inspiration. This is a good circumstance!” He quotes some wisdom from Seinfeld’s George Costanza: “Everybody’s doing something, we’ll do nothing"... "I build and destroy the picture by adding and discarding canvas, colours, found fragments and dust without regard to any strategy or chronology. I strive to reduce my own decision-making power to the physicality of my actions... It’s an ongoing struggle to unlearn and rediscover. I like to surprise myself but usually the only one who is astonished about my paintings is my housekeeper, who thinks I just started my finished paintings.”
Ostrowski's solo show opens at Peres Projects in Berlin this March
New York painter Matt Connors explores an open-ended dialogue between form, material, and meaning through abstraction. Drawing from the history of painting as well as language, music, and design, his work results in creations of embodied conditions of thought. This spring, his work will be showing alongside 14 other abstract painters, including Katy Moran and Molly Zuckerman-Hartung at Painter Painter at the Walker Art Centre in Minneapolis.