Song Song is pleased to present, Wet Paintings, new works from Ezara Spangl (b. 1979, Maryland, lives and works in Vienna).
What’s a painter (and especially a painter who will work in abstraction) to do, when style has stopped working as it always has—as the tenor of the voice, the trace of the personality, the imprint of the character of the artist?
In the heyday of abstraction, style was the superconductor from soul to canvas, the medium of authenticity, the source of originality. But then things changed, and it wasn’t any longer. Style stopped to be believable. It became nostalgic, or worse, dumb, or worse still, cheap.
Nowadays, a style isn’t going to help an abstract painter anymore. So what do the marks and colors mean? Are we still to make anything of them?
Ezara Spangl stands out for taking the problem on in full. Her work is developing in chapters, each of which is executed in a discrete, singular style, with little or no connection with the others. „Wet Paintings“ is the most recent of those chapters.
Wet Paintings, as any of the other chapters, may look like a kind of answer, but take the whole practice in view and it is revealed as one of the series of rephrasings of the question.
Nowhere along the way has Spangl resorted to trying to jazz the problem up with irony, or, on the other hand, to making a protest out of sincerity about it. She hasn’t forwarded any of the solutions that, in spite of their being incomplete or compromised, have been granted success in the wake of style’s breaking,. Nor has she given the slightest suggestion that a larger solution is even possible, and therefore worth pursuing. But if the work is a failure to find an authentic answer, it is also a success at sustaining an authentic question, and the question has become what the style can no longer be.