MoCA Director Jeffrey Deitch has been enthusiastic about the late abstract work of Andy Warhol since the '80s, when many critics preferred the artist's iconic Pop art. He also noticed a number of younger artists making abstract art without using a paintbrush but choosing instead techniques like silkscreen, collage, computer graphics or ink jet printers.
The galleries at MOCA's Grand Avenue building have been reconfigured and terrific Warhol paintings of camouflage, Rorschach blots and shadows make an indelible first impression. And what about the wall-to-wall white carpet? This too is a painting, by Rudolph Stingel, who will receive it back at the end of the show, covered in the abstract marks of footprints. A radiant gallery features his silver paintings marked with the patterns of chain link, as well.
Mark Bradford: Untitled, 2011
Mark Bradford composed one of his latest massive works by collaging layers of circus posters then sanding the surface to reveals colors and patterns until it looks like an aerial view of L.A.
Christopher Wool: Untitled, 2011
Silkscreened ink on linen
Collection of Steven F. Roth
Christopher Wool, known for black text on white grounds, has silk screened blobs of black and chocolate that relate in uncanny ways to the Warhols.
Many of the artists in the show know one another and are conscious of their efforts to address the legacy of abstract painting in the wake of Pop, Minimal and Conceptual art. Not all of the work is successful but the show itself does succeed, I think, in bringing together some unexpected connections and exciting visual statements.
Banner image: (L) Andy Warhol's Rorschach, 1984; Liquitex on canvas; the Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, California (R) Andy Warhol's Camouflage, 1986; Synthetic polymer paint and silkscreen ink on canvas; courtesy of the Brant Foundation, Greenwich, Connecticut