new-york

Ann Pibal, FLFM, 2011, acrylic on aluminum, 16 1/4 x 12 3/4".

Ann Pibal

Meulensteen

Ann Pibal, FLFM, 2011, acrylic on aluminum, 16 1/4 x 12 3/4".

Abstract painters usually give their works titles after the fact, and often quite arbitrarily, so trying to draw out connections between these verbal handles and the real content of the art is a dangerous game. But the way Ann Pibal titles her paintings really does correspond to an important aspect of the paintings, namely a sort of agnosticism about whether abstraction should be strictly nonobjective, a self-contained construct eschewing all reference to the outside world, or should instead evoke aspects of reality but in an indirect way. The titles of paintings in this show, “DRMN’,” are, but for a few exceptions, composed of sequences of capital letters, and most of the time only consonants. The lack of vowels means, of course, that the titles can’t be words in English—can’t straightforwardly signify. And yet some of them do tempt one to read them as familiar words: I

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the November 2011 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.