"MORE or LESS" showcases how D.C.'s affinity for Abstraction has always been a part of its artistic DNA.
by KRISTON CAPPS, Washington City Paper
MAY 24, 2018 11 AM
Process-based abstraction has always been a staple of painting in D.C. The Washington Color School was built by artists who defined their work by their approach to the canvas, whether by staining it or draping it or something else. MORE or LESS, a group show on view at Hemphill Fine Arts, shows how new trends in contemporary painting continue to line up with the work that put D.C. on the map in the 1960s and ’70s. Read More
More or Less: Thoughts on a Comment Made by Walter Hopps Read More
Spring of 1979; only a month after arriving in Washington, Walter Hopps, the revered and now mythical curator, pulled a chair around my desk and sat down beside me. I barely knew Hopps, but I did know enough to see the opportunity in the moment.
So I asked the star curator what he thought was the most important movement in American art. Hopps drew hard on his cigarette, not so much for the need of nicotine, but to give his response the flare of an actor revealing the secret to the plot. His answer: Abstract Expressionism. American art would always tend toward representation, because American art and the American character were bound by a literalness. Therefore Abstract Expressionism would be seen as the most unique and revealing of the American art movements. I cannot say if this was his true belief, or if Hopps was throwing out a response meant to push his inquisitor to think more openly. Nearly 40 years later, the number of artists creating abstract works is not waning.