Peinture: Obsolescence déprogrammée


Musée d’art moderne et contemporain, Abbaye Saint-Croix, Les sables d’Olonne, France


Press release

The exhibition ‘Painting: Deprogrammed Obsolescence’ centers on the future of painting in the digital age. It provides an opportunity to observe and think about the evo

lution of this pictorial medium and its continuous renewal as it comes in contact with new technologies. The omnipresence of screens and the intrusion of algorithms in almost all aspects of daily life, as recent as they are dazzling, have resulted in an evolution of the way we see things, and some painters are translating this into their works.

The proliferation of digital images and “windows” challenges and questions the painting-window device defined by Alberti during the Renaissance, a device that has been the basis of Western painting and imagery from the dawn of the mod- ern era until today.

While painting’s hybridization accelerated in the mid-twentieth century through its confronta

tion with photography, cinema, and video art, its most fruitful exchange began to take root with digital art between 1990 to 2000. The challenge of this exhibition is to define the contours of painting’s current practice, but also to recognize the plurality of approaches that go far beyond the simple modernist defi- nition of painting. Far from having a decline—which had been announced many times—painting seems to be “deprogramming” the obsolescence that was predicted in the face of new technologies.

As a counterpoint, the integra- tion of photographic works, digi- tal prints, and installations allows us to appreciate the extent to which painting is likely to nourish and inspire other media.