SURREAL VIOLENCE A detail from 'Laying Lion.'
Shechet is not alone in making this sort of art. New York’s New Museum nailed this trend of gonzo sampling assemblage with its 2007 exhibit “Unmonumental,” which the institution described as “an exhibition about fragmented forms, torn pictures and clashing sounds.” It’s related to the purposely messy and unresolved “provisional painting,” which has also been referred to as the “new casual.” It’s a cousin of Flarf poetry. And, as in this particular case, it frequently has a dash of mucky surrealism.
I’m curious how all this broken, battered, wounded art might reflect our broken, battered, wounded time. But so much of this art feels like the tedious end game permutations of high academic postmodernist formalism. Samples of samples of samples with little left to say. Purposely dour and limping and half-baked. Semi-enlivened with some nonsense jokes. But with the full weight of institutional and critical support behind it, who am I to disagree?
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