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The Role of Abstraction

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Christopher Bedford speaks to five contemporary painters, Tomma Abts, Tauba Auerbach, Matt Connors, Charline von Heyl and Bernd Ribbeck, about the role of abstraction in contemporary painting.

Beford writes that "There is a dissonance between the directness of their work and the fuzzier set of interests and objectives – high-minded, metaphysical and historical – that 'abstraction' suggests. None of these painters seem interested in spirituality as a social idea or abstraction as a historical category, but they share a real belief in the metaphysical properties of work, materials, process and practice, a kind of secular faith in the possibilities of non-objective image-making. Their desire is not for transcendence through abstraction, but for a greater embeddedness in the world through materials and work."

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