The end of 2013 is just around the corner and we are in the mode of individually and collectively reflecting back on the past year and looking towards the coming year. The List is one of the ways we do this and the practice of making lists is in full force right now. Lists like 50 Best Albums of 2013, Top Five Artists To Watch In 2014, Highest Paid Actors/Actresses Of The Year, the classic new years resolutions lists, and so on, are everywhere. We are obsessed with lists. And as I personally began compiling categorical articles that are essentially lists in their own right on Beautiful Decay in 2013, covering topics like 8 Heavy Metal Artists and 6 Artists Who Work With Trash, I felt it only appropriate to finish the year with a list based article covering artists who have used the format of the list in their artworks.
Text art seems to be popping up everywhere these days in a multitude of diverse forms, although the use of text in art is inarguably not a new movement. However, when it comes to using words in visual art, several artists of different ages and sub-genres have found ways to burn their words into our brains. The pieces featured here have real stay-power. Whether the artist employs a blinking pattern between words, such as Bruce Nauman does, or draws rawly from their cultural background and related personal experience, such as Glenn Ligon and Patrick Martinez, these works deliver a very contemporary message. With simple language, and a sometimes poetic-sometimes brash- sense of honesty, these neon text-based works transcend many other works of text based art made today. Artists featured here include: Bruce Nauman, Patrick Martinez, Tracey Emin, Jill Magid, Glenn Ligon, Robert Montgomery and Jung Lee. The works speak for themselves- yet we encourage you to read between the lines.
With a somewhat brutal realness, artist (and YBA member) Tracey Emin confronts her viewers with work that is provocative, personal—and stakes claim to a sizeable piece of feminist-advised contemporary art landscape. She works in a variety of media, choosing to work in a combination of sculpture, painting and installation.
Her most recent body of work hinges on ideas of self-discovery, reflection and vulnerability. An installation of quiet, pleading text-based sculptures rest on tables surrounded by raw, harshly expressionist gouache drawings. It feels as though the work overall serves as some kind of confession, because it possesses a strange openness, even as the concepts float from neon to paper to projection.
I Followed You To The Sun is on view at Lehmann Maupin through June 30.