New Wave situates eight artists who engage with abstraction in the digital age. This milieu could be characterized as consisting of a general public which largely regards abstraction in stylistic terms, easily categorizable into the various -isms decontextualized, defanged, and reduced to an orderly collection of formal idioms rather than specific cultural articulations of political ideologies throughout history.
As “new” is defined against the “old,” one is tempted to interpret New Wave as representing a radical break from the past. However, New Wave presents less a rupture than a sample of emerging artists, with highly individual approaches, which suggests a pervasive impulse of working with abstraction through mediums as historically charged as painting and sculpture—modes of artmaking wherein, throughout the previous century, artists of an avant-garde persuasion had prominently launched their assaults on tradition, the figure, and bourgeois values, among many other targets.
Despite their distinct approaches, the eight artists share amongst themselves a programmatic revitalization of abstraction less as a style than as a method—whether to index actions, obliquely narrate one’s experiences, to investigate a material’s physical properties, conjure dream states, manifest swirls of emotions and psychic drives, open space for poetry, reveal the ritualistic aspect of artmaking, or activate the viewers’ sensory and critical faculties.
Of vastly different backgrounds and practices, these artists express various concerns and tendencies ranging from the materialist to the transcendental, from formalistic issues pertaining to line, color, space, and texture to art’s spiritual dimensions. As such, the works on display communicate the physicality of gestures, the resonance of objects and images, or the transformative potential and healing power of art as well as highlight overlaps between oft-presumed binaries such as rigor and play, analysis and intuition, and structure and chance. Through these diverse strategies, the artists produce works that act as prisms of their social and natural worlds.
– Dominic Zinampan