all images Jonathan Lasker, LA Louver, 2010
"over the last two years, there has been a gradual increase of interest in abstraction. During this time, I've puzzled over what this so-called return to abstraction could mean. I still cannot imagine it. For me, abstract painting finished with the black paintings of Frank Stella. The goal of a modern painting, which represented nothing but its own pure form, had been attained. When I began working, my objective was to find a way to make a painting discursive, rather than monotopical. I also wanted it to be discursive on its own terms, rather than in literary terms. Painting had already achieved this minimal monosubject, ie, the subject of its object reflexivity. To me, this existential objecthood was now ready to be depicted as subject matter in discourse with the additional component of the subjective psyche. It was possible to use our experience of the elements of painting for their associative powers, in a poetics of painting. A poetics which could also embrace broad topics, such as memory and presence, materiality and transcendence, and the flattening of high and low culture.
It is towards this end that I have painted unhappy marriages of the biomorphic and decorative, the mark of the "loaded brush" land the geometric, the psyche and popular culture. I want a painting that's operative. I'm seeking subject matter, not abstraction."
After Abstraction (1986), J. Lasker, Complete Essays 1984-1998