A Painting Today proposes an encounter with painting, the most traditional of media, filtered through the contemporary logic of Instagram. Because of social media, the most common way to view pictures today is sequentially. This has triggered a fundamental shift in how we think about images, emphasising their place in the fourth dimension, time, over a timeless two-dimensional existence.
The exhibition is conceived as a slideshow, or Instagram feed, in the flesh: it will open with one work, and every day a painting will be added. Over the run of the show, a total of 47 paintings will accumulate on our walls.
Our control over the process will be reduced to a minimum. We determine who to invite, but the sequence will emerge from an interplay of external factors, such as the date of acceptance of the invitation, painters’ schedules, and logistics such as stretching, shipping and framing. The list of invited painters will reflect the personal interests of our curatorial team, and will include young artists who we have never exhibited before alongside people we represent, international visitors alongside important historical figures. The range of work will reflect the breadth and depth of painterly concerns in contemporary art, and will mimic the jumble of social media where the sacred sits next to the profane, and the monumental and miniscule both fit on the screen of one’s phone.
As so much has been written and theorised about painting, we would like to propose a divertissement. A Painting Today offers a twist on traditional exhibition-making, creating a blank canvas on which painting is invited to roam more or less freely for 47 days.
Instead of making a grand statement about painting today, we simply offer a painting each day. The show includes artists such as Anna Boghiguian, Francis Alÿs, Turiya Magadlela, Penny Siopis, Mduduzi Xakaza and Portia Zvavahera.
The daily additions will be documented on our website and various social media platforms in real time, coming full circle with an exhibition closing on Saturday 22 April where all the works will be on display.