This book of dialogues was the result of my research into contemporary abstraction and various theoretical positions deduced from its practice. I provided a critical overview and interviews throughout the book, an in the preface explain – that it set out to examine abstract painting in the wake of the dissolution of high modernist frames of legitimation. Here, the emphasis was on new York painters and a ‘hybrid’ abstraction that had started to flourish in the early 90’s. The rationale was driven by these key questions: How did these artists relate to the issue of autonomy, the critical questions around the medium itself, and even more prominently, complexity over reductivity?
Later interviews included some European artists connected to the New York aesthetic such as Gunther Forg, Bernard Frize and Ian Davenport. Other contributors included Arthur Danto, Andrew Benjamin, Peter Schjeldahl, David Joselit, Bernard Frize, Mary Heilmann, Carlos Basualdo, Jonathan Lasker, Shirley Kaneda, David Reed, Jessica Stockholder..
Mike Dawson writing in Flux magazine, “David Ryan’s insightful ‘Talking painting’ will undoubtedly become a definitive addition to the abstract artist’s theoretical armour […] a definitive text in the making.” It has proved a useful sourcebook for students at PhD and MA level.