The fact that the art world relies on asymmetrical relationships isn’t a surprise, but for an aspect of culture that values autonomy and individuality above almost everything else (except maybe private property) the roles of the follower are much less discussed. The viewer, the public, the audience, the masses; these all become terms to articulate the artist’s tertiary audience (after the collector and the experts, of course) that can become entangled with problematic notions of ‘popularity’ (this is bad for the serious artist) and democratic ideas like access and equity. For The Baffler’s recent issue “Holy Orders”, I contributed an exhibition called “Oh, Cults” that looks at Institutions, Figures, and their attendant Audiences. I myself, am a guilty practitioner of shitposting and as I responded to a student’s question at a recent artist talk, “Yes, I am part troll.”
The entire exhibition is spread throughout the current issue of the Baffler, which I recommend subscribing to, as well as on the website. The prints may be available soon as a limited edition suite or as individual limited edition prints through The Baffler’s store. Here, the high price (luxury) of original drawings meets the lower price (affordability) of prints where touch is conveyed through a graphite signature.
After After the Contemporary opens Saturday January 20th from 6 – 9 pm at Charlie James Gallery in Los Angeles. I’m pleased to debut 120 new watercolor and acrylic paintings of Artforum ads that form a timeline of the Contemporary. The new paintings expand on the fictional retrospective look at the twenty-five-year period I developed for my 2017 solo exhibition at the Aldrich. The works are available in chronological order here or as a PDF catalog you can download here powhida-afterafterthecontemporary.
The exhibition also includes drawings that informed the Aldrich show from 2016 that were shown in Brussels, a print of my text-based timeline “The Contemporary in Context”, and three new sculptural Artforum watercolors on paper mounted on aluminum that were recently shown at Untitled in Miami.
The press release is also available as PDF here WilliamPowida_AfterAftertheContemporary