The exhibition was conceived as a visual conversation between four like-minded contemporaries whose artwork play with their expected role, mostly by pushing and subverting in differing ways the often ambiguous and arbitrary boundaries between artwork and objects.
For each artist, the use of materials — paint, gesture, even physical framework — has an expansive role which goes beyond the normal confines of two-dimensional painting. The “subject” of the works within Object Oriented revolves around the art being perceived as “objects" on a primal level. Each work strives to transcend the typical associations of traditional painterly media, such as oil on canvas, while still utilizing them. The featured artists refuse to allow their work to languish in the realm of comfortably picturesque detached "elevation" where most artwork resides. By doing this, they become uneasy hybrids that skirt straightforward classification, precariously teetering between categories.
In this way, as Stephen Maine points out in his essay "Object and Subject," the political anxiety and mounting instability of the present moment are addressed, questioned, challenged through these works —but not, ultimately, resolved. Through resisting aesthetic passivity, there is urgency and turbulence imbued in each painting. The art seems to propel off the wall (in the cases of Susan Still Scott and Tony Saunders) or restlessly threatens to break the boundaries of the canvas itself (Denise Gale, Anne Russinof).
The work in Object Oriented maintains the urgency of artistic practice in the face of cultural crisis but does not take explicit sides, letting the works themselves make their claim to solidarity, camaraderie, and freedom.