Thursday, June 12, 2008

Tomma Abts @ The New Museum

I heard various reports about The New Museum, so I was was slightly cautious when I finally paid a visit to their new building on Bowery. (A space that looks like it was modeled after stacked building blocks.) A lot of the art was just plain silly, but I did find some pleasant surprises. One artist in particular really spoke to me...Tomma Abts. She's a German artist who lives in London, and the best description I've read to describe her style is "retro-futuristic." I think I related to her hard-lined abstract works so much because as an undergrad student I threw myself whole-heartedly into abstraction. The controlled playfulness...the flat colors...oh, it was a comfortable language to speak through! In person, her works have a slight texture that's provides evidence of previous layers that she painted over. This gave them an unexpected vulnerability that I don't often find in such formalistic artworks. Here are some examples of her work...

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