The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter Tourney-ish

EllsworthKellySpectrumIISLAM.jpgIt's been way too long since I did something frivolous here on MAN, so... this week I'm kicking off a mostly silly, substantially whimsical, still-about-art pseudo-endeavor. Welcome to the last annual America's Greatest Living American Abstract Painter Tournament. Think of it as the NCAA tourney only with fewer corporate tie-ins, less sweat, fewer buzzer-beaters,  and cheerleaders by Mel Ramos. (If only!) This is the tournament that encourages Jeff Koons to take his balls and go home, the tournament that could benefit from even more Paul Pfeiffer Photoshopping. [Image: No. 1 seed Ellsworth Kelly, Spectrum II, 1966-67, St. Louis Art Museum.]

Here's how it'll work: I convened a seeding committee made up of three of America's most distinguished abstract artist seeders: I call it ORANGES' Ed Schad, The Stranger's Jen Graves and Hyperallergic's Hrag Vartanian. My instruction to them was: "Given that this is an entirely fictional non-fiction endeavor, use any criteria you like. Personally, I'll be seeding based on a career's worth of work, with attention given to the last 10-15 years." I asked each of them to seed America's 32 top living abstractionists (and added my own 1-32 list). I averaged our lists to arrive at our seeding.

After deliberating through the night -- well, it seemed like the night but it could have just been the video floor of the Whitney Biennial -- the committee returned its top four seeds: Ellsworth Kelly, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman and Mark Bradford. The full brackets are in the jump

I'll start with Ellsworth Kelly's section of the draw and cycle through the rest of round one this week. (The first-round matchups are terrific. One of our seeders considers Johns an abstract painter and seeded him high enough to create a Johns-Twombly first-round showdown!) This morning's match-ups, with links to relevant work:
Update: The rest of the top half of the draw is ready for voting here.  Voting on the third quarter of the draw is here.

Check back 24 hours after a poll is posted to see who you've advanced to the next round! I'll send some mid-day polling updates out via Twitter (and on Facebook), so be sure to follow me there.

(And yeah, we're having fun here. But as I put the bracket together I found myself thinking about specific painters, specific works and the way certain types of abstract painting come in waves. Obviously 'systems' abstraction is huge right now...)

Related: In the spirit of the sporting construct, next week MAN will feature posts reviewing Hard Targets, which is on view now at the Wexner.

TopHalf.jpg

BottomHalf.jpg

March 17, 2010 8:46 AM |

Blogroll

The Lead List

Greg Allen
American Modern
Art History Newsletter
Bloggy
C-Monster
Culture Monster (LAT)
Conscientious
Greg Cook
Eyeteeth
Fallon & Rosof
Heart as Arena
HouChron's Peep
I call it oranges
Jonathan Jones
LACMA on Fire
Look Into My Owl
PORT
Sixteen Miles
Steve Roden
The Stranger
Touching Harms the Art
Translinguistic other
Two Coats of Paint
Updownacross
Hrag Vartanian
Venetian Red
James Wagner
Edward Winkleman

Institutions

2buildings1blog
Amon Carter Museum
Cleveland Museum of Art
art:21
ARTicle (AIC)
Brooklyn Museum
Exposures (Aperture)
Eyelevel (SAAM)
The Gallery (SDMA)
Inside Out (MoMA)
MAMFW
Now at the Met
Off Center (Walker)
Open Space (SFMOMA)
Signal Fire (Provisions Lib.)
Soap (Seattle Art Museum)
Unframed (LACMA)

Boston & New England

Artblog Comments
Brief Epigrams
Leslie K. Brown
Exhibitionist
Hol Art Books
Jason Landry
Megan & Murray
Modern Kicks
Our Daily Red

Chicago

Art or Idiocy?
Edward Lifson
Museumist
No Caption Needed
Not If But When #2
Sharkforum

Denver

Art Palaver Fort Collins
Gallery Hopper
Minutiae

Great Lakes

Art in Pittsburgh
Cigarettes and Purity
Culture Scout
Digging Pitt
Eageageag
Mattress Factory
The Thinking Eye
Unedit my Heart
View on Canadian Art

Los Angeles

art.blogging.la
Marshall Astor
Eco Art Blog
Carol Es
The Flog
Frenchy But Chic
Dennis Hollingsworth
Leap Into the Void
Lenscratch
Robert Olsen
Positive Ape Index
The OC Art Blog
Try Harder

Midwest (KS --> OH)

Art City (Mil J-S)
Arts Admin
Cincy Art Snob
MW Capacity
Nelson-Atkins
On the Cusp
Tony Renner
Shorttage
St. Louis Art Map
StL P-D Culture Club

Minneapolis

Chron. of Artistic Failure
Ongoing

New York City

AFC
ArtCatZine
ArtCritical
ArtObserved
Art on my Mind
Art Vent
Artists Unite Issue
ArtsBeat (Buffalo News)
Carefully Aimed Darts
Daily Gusto
Delicious Ghost
Eponanonymous
Deborah Fisher
Flavorwire
Amy Goodwin
Ground Glass
Bill Gusky
John Haber
Ethan Ham
High Low and in Between
Hungry Hyaena
I Heart Photograph
Immersion Blog
MTAA-RR
Joanne Mattera
NEWSgrist
The Old Gold
Oly's Musings
Anne Sherwood Pundyk
Restless
Smarthistory
Catherine Spaeth
Amy Stein

Philadelphia

Art Blog By Bob
From This Moment
In It for Life
Matthews the Younger
Romanblog II
Zoe Strauss
Douglas Witmer

Portland

DK Row
TJ Norris

San Francisco

Bay Area Art Quake
Timothy Buckwalter
Chez Namastenancy
Engineer's Daughter

Seattle, Pacific

Art and Politics Now
The Art Part
Hankblog
Seattle Art Blog
Joey Veltkamp

Southeast

ArtscriticATL
Knight Arts (Miami)
Nasher at Duke

Texas & Southwest

Art Motel Radio
ArtsHouston Blog
Border Art Dialogue
'Bout What I Sees
Emvergeoning
Glasstire blogs
Chris Jagers
KERA Arts & Culture
Marilu Knode
Wax by the Fire

Washington, DC, Baltimore

Adventures of Hoogrrl
artPark
DC Art Seen
DC Public Library blog
From the Isle of Baltimore
Grammar.police
Hatchets and Skewers
Ionarts
Jumping in Art Museums
Philip Kennicott
Matthew Langley
NTHP

Podcasts

ArtsHouston
Bad at Sports
Dallas ArtCast

Architecture

ArchDaily
BLDGBLOG
A Daily Dose
Dezeen
Life Without Buildings
Pruned
Subtopia

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Modern Art Notes published on March 17, 2010 8:46 AM.

'Cezanne and American Modernism' in Baltimore, part two was the previous entry in this blog.

The Greatest Living American Abstract Painter Tourney-ish II is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
State of the Art
innovations and impediments in not-for-profit arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds
The Unanswered Question
Joe Horowitz on music

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.