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Ryna Frankel


As a young painter about to trade the safe space inside the classroom walls for the uncertain life of an artist in the real world, the trend of contingency and ad-hoc materials in much contemporary painting and sculpture appeals to me. Because of these interests and my studio focus on painting, my thesis addresses the recent critical discourse around "Provisional Painting," work that appears purposely unfinished or made with a tentative hand, through both writing and painting. Through extensive visual analysis of the artists grouped into this category, my project questions the proposed motivations for this work as well as the inclusion of each of these artists under the heading of ‘Provisional Painting.’ Simultaneously, I continued to experiment with my own painting, and to push myself in new directions with this topic in mind. By combining my scholarly and artistic pursuits, the stakes and issues surrounding 'Provisional Painting' become more urgent and immediate. How can I be confident in my art in an era of confusion?

Rather than focus on the history of doubting and questioning rampant in modernism and postmodernism, my paper proposes that the likely reason for the provisional trend stems from today’s globalizing, internet-connected, over stimulated society. In the final stages of my project, my research has further complicated my original questions, opening up new areas of inquiry into contemporary painting. My redefinition of 'Provisional Painting' as an expanded field has allowed me to explore my interest in tactility, ephemerality, and the pathetic through my artwork. I don’t know where this will take me or how different my paintings will look in the future, but I do know that I will continue developing my artistic voice and coming up with ever more questions for future exploration.

SECTOR C: Art Practice & Technology

ADVISORS: Jackie Tilston (FNAR) | Kaja Silverman (ARTH)