Just because you happen to be standing in front of a painting, you can’t assume that the artist was only concerned with this traditional form of art-making and that she’s only worked with the paint and canvas at which you’re looking. Liz Trosper is a tireless researcher, a bold experimenter and a hard-working painter. Pursuing a Master of Fine Arts from UT Dallas had her looping through an obstacle course of theory and conceptual art history. Some artists concern themselves solely with aesthetics, but Trosper’s approach is all encompassing. She’s bitten off quite a lot, but she’s tenacious enough to chew through it.
Trosper states, “I want to make one simple thing — painting that wipes away all there ever was of painting and re-makes it anew…obliterating provincial ideas about painting by pushing on what painting can be in pragmatic terms…challenging my so-called open mind to see its hatred, hypocrisy and limiting views.”
She acknowledges Claire Bishop’s lingering question, published in a 2012 Artforum article “The Digital Divide,” -- “Why do I have a sense that the appearance and content of contemporary art have been curiously unresponsive to the total upheaval in our labor and leisure inaugurated by the digital revolution?”
Bishop brings us past the appropriation artists of the 1980s, such as Sherry Levine and Richard Prince, who questioned originality and the plight of the image in the age of mechanical reproduction. In the digital age, the plight of the image is physical, emphasizing our human experience and bringing our attention back to the material world. Allusions to space in Trosper’s work have more to do with the scale of the human body than the ubiquitous scale of the computer screen.
In Trosper’s painting practice she is attempting to integrate the entirety of her visual experience with her embodied physical experience, during this era when our collective visual experience is dominated by digital media and it’s agenda to disembody.
This exhibition asks “Did the Modernist movement really exalt the body to the point that there is tension between machine and the human hand? And can the pairing of painting and the machine be successful or does technology automatically negate the body?”