Various - Animated Painting (2007)

The San Diego Museum of Art organized a state-of-the-art exhibition which showcases the latest trend in animated art by contemporary artists. It ran from October 13, 2007, to January 13, 2008, and featured 25 cinematic works by 14 international contemporary artists who adapt traditional painting and drawing methods to the concepts and technologies of animation.

Animated Painting presents some of the most compelling artists working with these new hybrid strategies which have been increasingly used by contemporary artists over the last several years.

The works on display show two predominant approaches in animation. While some artists are maintaining the practice of handmade images, which is immersed in styles of traditional drawing and painting or forms of conventional animation, other artists are working with live action sources that are either self-generated or taken from popular culture and then digitally recoded into a painterly style. Animated Painting shows how digital media is transforming older art forms and how contemporary artists are providing a fresh take on the popular, commercially-dominated art form of animation. By taking animation out of its commercial context and incorporating it into fine art, artists are able to accomplish results that are not necessarily found in its commercial use and that offer a timebased method in which to convey their message. The exhibition also highlights the widespread globalization of moving image art and its growing accessibility to new audiences.

“This is a groundbreaking and visually stunning exhibition. SDMA is proud to present these challenging works,” says the Museum’s executive director, Derrick Cartwright. “As digital art has grown in popularity over the past few years, museums have a broad responsibility to contextualize these representations. Animated Painting does an excellent job at making this work accessible to diverse audiences. The exhibition provides visitors with an opportunity to explore a growing trend in contemporary art and to enjoy a wide variety of new time-based works by leading international artists.” Highlights of Animated Painting include William Kentridge’s animated film Tide Table (2005); computer animated figures by Julian Opie that will be displayed outside of the Museum; Jeremy Blake’s digital video Sodium Fox (2005); and Sadie Benning’s video projection of hand-made drawings, Play Pause (2006). In addition, Wit Pimkanchanapong has been commissioned to create a site design for the exhibition space. The artist’s ceiling design is based on an analog progression of imagery and will be printed on sheets of suspended paper. Animated Painting also showcases the close relationship between contemporary art, popular culture, and progressive musical styles as several works feature new compositions and audio soundscapes.

The artists participating in the exhibition are the Barnstormers, Sadie Benning, Jeremy Blake, Sebastián Díaz Morales, Kota Ezawa, Ruth Gómez, William Kentridge, Ann Lislegaard, Takeshi Murata, Serge Onnen, Julian Opie, Wit Pimkanchanapong, Qiu Anxiong, and Robin Rhode.

Animated Painting is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue featuring essays by the exhibition’s curator Betti-Sue Hertz, animation studies scholar Suzanne Buchan, and media theorist Lev Manovich, an exhibition checklist, artist biographies, and a DVD with sample clips of the works in the exhibition. After its run at the San Diego Museum of Art, the exhibition will be on view at the Centro Cultural Tijuana (CECUT) in Tijuana, Mexico, from October 1 through December 31, 2008, and at the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, from February 6 through April 19, 2009.

Animated Painting is organized by the San Diego Museum of Art. This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Krichman Family Fund of the Jewish Community Foundation, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and the African Arts Council of the San Diego Museum of Art. Additional support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the County of San Diego’s Community Enhancement Program, and members of the San Diego Museum of Art.

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