My friend Alan is a mine of information when it comes to all things arty. We were talking the other day and he mentioned the term “Expanded Painting”. This term was probably first used in 2005 when there was an exhibition of that title in the Prague Biennale. Anyway, it’s one of those terms that you can use freely when you’re discussing painting these days.
Yes, it’s about contemporary artists whose work is challenging the conventions of painting and such. It’s about re-conceptualizing the traditional understanding of painting, which is no longer restricted to the oil-on-canvas formula, but offers a multitude of other alternatives. Fabric, metal, found objects, conceptual statements, flamboyant actions, installations and sculptures, all of these are putting forward an extended understanding of the medium; today, painting is expanded, painting is… (Yes, you’ve probably noticed that I’m plagiarising an essay from “Modern Talking”, an exhibition at the Museum of Art Cluj-Napoca, Romania… )
Anyway, the thing is: I’ve been making artworks during the last few years which could definitely be termed: “Expanded Paintings”. The piece above is one of a group of works that I will have in an exhibition in The Leuven Institute in Belgium for the Irish Presidency of the EU. The other artists in the show are: Hughie O’Donoghue, Colin Martin, Geraldine O’Relly and Robert Russell. For more on this exhibition see: http://www.leuveninstitute.eu
And for more about “Expanded Painting”, here’s a link to an essay by Mark Titmarsh. http://www.marktitmarsh.com.au/shapes%20of%20inhabitation.pdf