About the artist:
Collaborators Jan Tumlir and Erik Otsea have inaugurated a tradition that can only be called “screwball conceptualism.” This is characterized by a mix of intellectual sophistication--a systems aesthetic adhered to with the utmost rigor--and a good-natured taste for absurdity: equal parts John Baldessari and Preston Sturges. Since May, 1988, the artists have been working on a single medium-sized painting that they pass back and forth to one another, modifying every time it seems to be “finished.” Sometimes the modification is dramatic; sometimes it is subtle. The only constant here is inconstancy; the only aesthetic one of sheer indeterminacy. At Sue Spaid Gallery, a series of color photographs documents the painting at various moments in its hyper-accelerated history. The painting is pleasantly Picasso-esque, lying on a table in the middle of a gallery opening, ignored by a crowd of gossiping attendees. It looks incongruously like a Chanel scarf hidden among the cast-offs in a local thrift shop; it is vaguely Op Art-ish, mounted on a wall in the artists’ studio in front of six painters (day laborers picked up by the artists at a downtown paint store) who copy it on smaller canvases with great intensity of purpose.