Purple Art

[March 15 2016]

John Henderson exhibition at Galerie Perrotin, Paris

From the press release, and I abbreviate: ““True” oil paintings also feature in the exhibition”, which “share sympathies” with other documentation and “float ambiguously” in a carefully “manicured” space (this last-mentioned, I will verify). The modern day Poet, capital P, is the intern that writes these press releases, in hopes perhaps that the intentionally anticlimactic feel of abstract painting bathing in market success be prefaced by an even more droning write-up. There’s no where to go but up from there, provided you grab hold of the text prior to entry. Of course, we’ve been had, as some of these ‘abstract paintings’ are actually copper electrotypes or even photographs, hence “true” is written-up with a wink wink from inside sixteen layers of simulacrum intended to incite critical consideration once the viewer finds the strength to engage. Yet, with variations of the same existing in virtually every blue-chip white-cube, who has the mental capacity to reconstitute what signs and indexes indicate what indexes and signs anymore? Inexhaustibly (I’m exhausted) we persist, searching endlessly for things mired in the self-reflexivity of painting (and painters), hoping that one day someone just declares: I’m painting abstract space because it’s an aggregate of history that is interesting to consider in an age all about appearances, and a material practice that allures for providing the simple pleasure of simply painting. Total recourse. Or, well, clever recruitment à la Perrotin.

Text and photo Sabrina Tarasoff

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