In conflating the brushstroke, the stroke of a pen and the tap of the touchscreen as a mere extension of the brain and the posture of the body, the possible definitions of expressionism widen considerably. The letters of the alphabet become the image itself—the brick and pixel from which the signature, grievance, plea, demand, profane declaration or mea culpa is constructed.
These letters, in sequence and in artworks, become forms that transmit and then transcend the message. The surface of the work becomes a filament that conducts extra-textual heat and light. In this instance, negativity often holds sway. Aggression, desperation and pessimism underpin the proceedings. Humor is present of course, but like most comedy, it’s often a disguise for something more malignant.
Other sneakier transformations occur as well. Text and image combine to form allusive illustrations, and a found object becomes a sign of the times. Advertising slogans are repurposed to negative effect, and the humdrum list becomes a lyric poem, the repetition of a phrase a rhythmic mantra.
Participating artists include:
Mike Bouchet, Kathe Burkhart, Jonah Freeman & Justin Lowe, Andrew Kuo, Tony Matelli, Adam McEwen, Jason Nocito, Scott Reeder, Aïda Ruilova, Davina Semo, Josh Smith, and Devin Troy Strother