Fellows of Contemporary Art gallery is pleased to present the exhibition Not Non-Objective, which includes the work of seven artists from Southern California.
The title, a double negative, is also a double entendre; although most of the work in the exhibition appears to be “pure” abstraction, without pictorial or other references, all of the works in the show are in fact referencing the landscape and the planet itself.
So the artists in the exhibition are not making artwork that is “non-objective” (a familiar synonym for pure abstraction) in the sense of hierarchies of abstraction. There also is a tangible objective- to call attention to the landscape, and by extension, the climate crisis. As one of the artists in the show commented, “if you are referencing the landscape as an artist today, it seems unthinkable not to reference the environment and climate change”.
Having established this, it is important to note that the work of the artists in the show all exudes a powerful formal presence that can be linked to the traditions of abstract painting. One can note connections to past movements such as Abstract Expressionism, Color Field Painting and Process Art. The difference between the work of these artists and historical abstract movements is both the impure nature of the artworks, and the artists’ desires to reference imagery and topics from the real world