The California Artists Who Made Conceptual Art Funny
THE ARMITAGE GONE DANCE EXQUISITE CORPSE PROJECT
More than 180 internationally recognized visual artists, architects, designers and photographers participated in the Armitage Gone! Dance Exquisite Corpse Project, beginning in 2011. The artists created one hundred and thirty nine artworks to benefit Armitage Gone! Dance, an internationally acclaimed contemporary dance company under the direction of renowned choreographer Karole Armitage. Using the 1920's surrealist parlor game "cadavre exquise," a drawing that combines words and/or images by multiple artists on one sheet of paper, the project celebrates the theme of chance encounters, surprise and radical juxtaposition. Each artist adds to the composition, in sequence, without seeing the contribution of the previous person. The chance juxtaposition of images and styles results in a work that is both unexpected and amusing. Each drawing is a combination of the work of three or four artists.
The Exquisite Corpse project is a way for a wide range of artists to express their support for Armitage’s work and also a way for her to acknowledge artists who have played such a large role in her career. The project also highlights the “performative” aspect of art-making by demonstrating that drawing, performance art, and dance all have in common spontaneity and an unpredictable nature. The evanescent quality of dance is mirrored in the surprising juxtapositions of the Exquisite Corpse.
Neo-expressionist painter David Salle gained prominence in the 1980s as a leader in the return to figuration, along with contemporaries Julian Schnabel, Francesco Clemente, Eric Fischl, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He is well known for his large-scale canvases featuring a sparse, seemingly disjunctive arrangement of elements, often including provocatively posed women and nudes and the use of grisaille. Pairing Pop art's common imagery with Surrealism's private associations, Salle's collage-like paintings often gather widely different moods, styles, and sources within one work.
American, b. 1952, Norman, Oklahoma, based in Brooklyn, New York
American, b. 1946, New York, NY, United States, based in New York, NY, United States