LA Law: Ingrid Calame, Laura Owens, Monique Prieto

Marriner, R (2001) 'LA Law: Ingrid Calame, Laura Owens, Monique Prieto.' Contemporary Visual Arts, 32. pp. 36-41. ISSN 1028-5040

Item Type: Article

The central interest in my research is how visual objects mean and what can be said about that. The publications explore, philosophically and in relation to specific examples the conditions of meaning of art objects; of concern in all of them, (and in my publications of the 1990s) are epistemological issues concerning the grounding of meaning and the ontology of art works and in particular a consideration of the ways in which these are differently perceived within Modernism and Postmodernism. Herein the work and surrounding criticism discussed is of three Los Angeles based painters, namely Calame, Prieto, and Owens, who became visible in the very late 1990s. Interesting about the work was its engagement with abstraction after a period in which abstraction (because of its centrality in the no longer persuasively perceived Late Modernist narratives) had become near taboo, and moreover the works use of visual tropes from that same Late Modernist abstract painting. At the time of writing the work had been primarily 'promoted' by West Coast critics in a two pronged debate about the value of the hedonistic, pleasurable, decorative and beautiful in opposition to the serious, po-faced; and about the West Coast embodying a 'new' sensibility in opposition to the East Coast (New York - and 'passe')!

The paper undercuts the binaries above and attempts to ground meaning of work in regionalism. Instead it examines the work in the light of the change undergone in the concept of meaning from that of the 1960s, arguing, unlike notions of modernist autonomy, post-structuralism argues that 'same' signifier gives rise to different signifieds in virtue of relations into which it enters. This enabling the re-claiming of certainly painterly and facture qualities from 1960's painting whilst rejecting the frame within which those were then understood.

Divisions: Bath School of Design
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:32
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