The Museum of of Modern Art is currently hosting an exhibition of the work of 17 diverse artists entitled “The Forever Now, Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World”. The work is all made in the 21st Century, and the general theme of the show is that this work does not have defining elements that would indicate when the work was produced. The term “atemporal” refers to timelessness, as well as the way the art incorporates ideas from the past. The internet offers contemporary artists access to massive amounts of images and texts about previous generations of artists and their work. This knowledge is then incorporated into this new 21st century art.
Dianna Molzan has two works in the show that relate to the traditional rectangular dimensions of a stretched canvas paintings. The first, “Untitled 2010”, features a set of wooden stretcher bars with canvas attached on the two vertical sides. the painted canvas has been slashed with a series of horizontal cuts that creates ribbons of canvas that drape down in curve.
The second painting, “Untitled 2011”, is also based on a rectangle, but instead of having all four sides made out of wood, the left side of the frame and the bottom edge have been replaced with a stuffed and painted canvas tube. This has created a slack curved line.
Both of these works address the idea of the rectangular perimeter of traditional easel paintings. Molzan has distorted the geometry of the shape by either slashing the canvas or replacing the stretcher bar with a fabric sculptural element.
Pictures courtesy of the museum and the artist.
– Susan Happersett