chicago

N. E. Thing Company Limited, Inflated Blue Sky, 1970, inflated polyvinyl acetate, 4' 3" x 13'. From “IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011.”

Iain Baxter&

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

N. E. Thing Company Limited, Inflated Blue Sky, 1970, inflated polyvinyl acetate, 4' 3" x 13'. From “IAIN BAXTER&: Works 1958–2011.”

ART IS ALL OVER reads a lithographed document issued in 1971 by the N. E. Thing Company Limited (NETCO), a business founded in 1966, incorporated in 1969, and run by Iain Baxter (now IAIN BAXTER&) and his then wife, Ingrid, until 1978. This punning declaration (which appears as a sort of speech balloon floating on the surface of an official-looking form) marries Duchamp and Pollock, wherein the “allover” technique of AbEx is extended beyond the canvas’s edge to become something that appears everywhere, or “all over.” BAXTER& may have also meant this in another sense, one that points to a post-1968 feeling of resignation wherein art, bereft of new ideas, is itself all over. Cocurated by the MCA’s chief curator, Michael Darling, and David Moos (formerly of Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, which organized the show), “Iain Baxter&: Works 1958–2011” traced such tensions across five

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