Since the end of the nineteenth century, painting has gone through a repeated cycle of death and rebirth in the face of artistic innovations such as photography, conceptual art, installation, and digital-imaging technologies. At each of these challenges, artists have explored alternative ways of making a “painting” that go beyond the application of paint to a canvas using a brush by diversifying the components of its production and presentation. This exhibition highlights the most recent growth of painting, examining key transformations the practice has undergone since the 1970s. Pushing the boundaries of its definition, the artists with work on view in these galleries have deconstructed and reinvented what a painting is and what it can be. While some have maintained a commitment to traditional materials, others have expanded the genre beyond its limits to take the form of video projections, a pile of advertising posters, altered book covers, and even vintage chairs hung on the wall side-by-side. Through their varied investigations into the history, present, and future of painting, these artists acknowledge and often exaggerate its contradictions to proclaim that painting still is, and will likely remain, very much alive. 

ICA Collection: Expanding the Field of Painting was organized by Anna Stothart, Assistant Curator.