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Tad Griffin

In 1989 Bruce Ferguson, Joan Simon, and Roberta Smith curated an exhibition at the Ringling Museum in Florida called “Abstraction in Question,” which attempted to address how the abstract painting of the ’80s differed from that of previous decades. According to Simon, the critical and formal stance of post-Modern abstraction required “that it do two things at the same time: refer to itself and to something else.” This is still a viable strategy for many young abstract painters like Tad Griffin who have developed a stylistic vocabulary that is formally self-sufficient but comments on some aspect of the world beyond the picture plane. In the ’90s, that world has become largely the landscape of technology and mass media, which the artist mirrors through his use of utilitarian-looking subject matter and technical procedures that disguise the painter’s hand.

Griffin’s rhythmic arrays of horizontal

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