“In a sense, a painting is just like a person—a painting doesn’t change so much as the world changes around them. For a moment a painting may spin in synchronicity to the speed of the culture, but as time passes it detaches from the present state—remaining as a marker of its time of creation. A painting is a mirror to a world experienced—and ultimately perhaps, a signifier of both nostalgia and future ambition.”
André Hemer’s attempt to “discover what a painting is in 2016” by means of collecting twenty-seven paintings by twenty-seven artists, all made in that year. Painting Regarding the Present features a bold design that mimics the scroll of a social media feed; the content is oriented sideways and the text is broken between the page turns, giving the impression of “scrolling” through the colorful image and text. True to Hemer’s aim, the paintings themselves feel strikingly vital, paintings “filled with people, sex, words, plants, penises, Pokémon, linen, light, time-stamps, repetition, fragments, family, and lots of gesture and paint (or lack thereof).” A fittingly fragmented and digressive essay by Hemer (from which the above quote was taken) is also included, which darts from Seinfeld to buying shoes on Amazon, to Instagram, to the
“Destiny” of a painting. A rich and boldly contemporary document on the place of painting in our culture.