Sunday, December 15, 2013
Posted by Aubrey Levinthal
This weekend I went with two good friends up to Boston. We really wanted to see the Amy Sillman show One Lump or Two at ICA Boston and decided to make a weekend of it.
We had such a great experience. We got to the ICA which is on the waterfront just as it started snowing, the crisp blue of the water against the grey sky and reflective building set the scene. But the work in the show was what held us. It was fantastic. Going from the early '90s through today, you could see a progression of forms and thoughts in different mediums. Drawings, paintings on paper and large paintings were all on display. This variety really helped understand her process. The small drawings are incredibly personal, drawings from life of friends or sketchbook notes on the attendants at a dinner party. From them you can see how she builds the forms in her larger works.
There was a sensibility for honesty that was really captivating for me. By that I mean all of the work seemed made from a physical place. You can feel art history in the paintings but not that these are a response to it. They are not cerebral but from her hand. By making work in response to her own experience of the world or making work from that work, there is a personal honesty embedded in the shapes and lines and content. They function as great formal painting much as someone like de Kooning who is commonly mentioned alongside her work but also as her own private lexicon as a woman walking through the world in 2013.