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The Indiscipline of Painting

International abstraction from the 1960s to now

Sat 14 Jan – Sat 10 Mar 2012

The Indiscipline of Painting is an international group exhibition including works by forty-nine artists from the 1960s to now. Selected by British painter Daniel Sturgis, the exhibition considers how abstraction has remained a site of urgent, relevant and critical enquiry for generations of artists over the last 50 years. The exhibition goes on to demonstrate the ways in which the history and legacy of abstract painting continues to inspire artists working today.

The contemporary position of abstract painting is problematic. It can be seen to be synonymous with a moment in modernism that has long since passed, and an ideology which led the medium to stagnate in self-analysis and ideas of historical progression. The Indiscipline of Painting challenges such assumptions. It reveals how painting’s modernist histories, languages and positions have continued to provoke ongoing dialogues with contemporary practitioners, even as painting’s decline and death has been routinely and erroneously declared.

The show brings together works by British, American and European artists made over the last five decades and features major new commissions and loans. It includes important works by Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, Michael Craig-Martin and Bridget Riley alongside younger artists such as Tomma Abts, Tauba Auerbach, Jacob Kassay and Cheyney Thompson.

The exhibition at the Mead Gallery featured new commissions by Swiss artist Francis Baudevin and German artist Katharina Grosse.

The Indiscipline of Painting is a collaborative project between Mead Gallery and Tate St Ives, where it opened on 8 October 2011. The exhibition also draws on the particular context of the significant abstract paintings which the University of Warwick has collected over the last 50 years, and which are on display across campus.

Mead Gallery and Tate St Ives gratefully acknowledge the support of Arts Council England, The Henry Moore Foundation, The Higher Education Funding Council, and the Swiss Cultural Fund.