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 first used back 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 (actually, now that I think of it, it’s probably too late and they’re on to some new term now).
But anyway, it’s apparently what contemporary artists do these days – 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… ) Ah well, worth a try, I suppose.
No, but the thing is: I’ve been making artworks during the last few years which could definitely be termed: “Expanded Paintings”. The piece at the top is one of a group of works that I made for an exhibition in The Leuven Institute in Belgium. I was making work on the theme of poverty and Homelessness at the time. That’s why I started using the cardboard boxes. But also because… well I like collecting auld bits of rubbish and messing around in the shed (sorry, the studio). There’s something nice about old stuff, don’t you think? And you know, sometimes it’s good not to be too precious about the work – and if you’re using torn bits of cardboard, it’s just bound to be great fun!
Let’s know what you think – but for more about “Expanded Painting”, here’s a link to an essay by Mark Titmarsh. http://www.marktitmarsh.com.au/shapes%20of%20inhabitation.pdf