• Roy Lichtenstein, Red Painting (Brushstroke), 1965, oil and Magna on canvas, 60 x 60".

    “Target Practice: Painting Under Attack 1949–78”

    Seattle Art Museum
    1300 First Avenue
    June 25–September 7, 2009

    Curated by Michael Darling

    No matter its content or its formal attributes, painting is a medium that reproduces bourgeois ideology all too legibly: Its emphasis on visual effects partakes in a distribution of sensory labor that disenfranchises touch and other senses; its two-dimensional retreat from real space suggests something like bourgeois decorum (unlike sculpture, which is always barging in). For these and other reasons, a substantial portion of the postwar avant-garde made destroying painting its special mission. “Target Practice” presents an international array of more than eighty important works by some fifty artists who ripped, erased, burned, shot, stabbed, or otherwise molested the medium, often by wielding weapons forged in Conceptual practices, as well as in performance, video, and other media. A selection of documentary materials will let audiences witness these crimes in progress.