Art & Language

Lisson Gallery / ICA

Since the late ’70s, Art & Language has addressed the issue of cultural legibility by producing pictures intentionally susceptible to radical misreading. This project continues and develops with their current exhibition entitled “Hostage Paintings: The Dark Series.” A complimentary group—“The Light Series”—is being presented concurrently at the ICA as part of a survey that extends from 1987 to the present.

Art & Language’s work of the last decade took form through a conglomeration of oddly devised modes and mechanisms of representation. A short list of those strategies includes: camouflage (in a series of portraits of Lenin in the allover style of Jackson Pollock, from 1979–80), willfull incompetence (the “painted by mouth” series, 1981–82), the scotomization of vision (in the virtual monochromes of Index: The Studio at 3 Wesley Place in the Dark, 1982, and Impressionism Returning Sometime

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