Last Abstractions


Last Abstractions is a group of seven oil-on-linen paintings, exhibited at Boston’s Subsamson Gallery in 2017, that explore the so-called end of painting, or the end of abstraction, a persistent concept in art criticism and history since the dawn of Modernism. 

Using a limited black, white, and gray palette, each painting deploys a different Modern/Minimal trope of picture making—from stripes to cubist squares to abstract expressionist drips, to layered numbers and slashing expressionism—drawing those tropes through chance methods of composition, in order to challenge and ironize the persistent packaging of the end as a kind of productive nihilism. 

The project sought to demonstrate that last, and any qualifier signaling an end, is only ever a rehearsed representation that offers cover for eschewing engagement. The work in this project sought to rescue that engagement ironically through positive namings: Curtain, Shelter, View, The Wheel, A White Whale, etc—to invite reflection on art’s need for such ends

RW151 (Burden Of Good)

2014 | oil on linen | 39" x 42"

RW156 (The Wheel)

2015 | oil, enamel on linen | 68" x 72"

RW152 (Curtain)

2014 | oil on linen | 42" x 39"

RW154 (Shelter)

2014 | oil on linen | 39" x 42"

RW155 (Zero-Sum)

2014 | oil on linen | 39" x 42"

RW153 (View)

2014 | oil on linen | 42" x 39"

RW222 (A White Whale)

2016 | oil on linen | 110" x 60"

View More Work by Jeff Perrott