Whitehot Magazine

NOW-ISM: Abstraction Today at the Pizzuti Collection


Albert Oehlen, Müllflasche, 2004, Oil on canvas, 82 ⅝ x 118 ⅛ inches. © Albert Oehlen, 2004.
Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Max Hetzler, Berlin and Paris

NOW-ISM: Abstraction Today at the Pizzuti Collection


Tutored on modern and contemporary art by Eva Glimcher—Pace Gallery’s Arne Glimcher’s mother, who co-founded the original Boston gallery with Arne and ran a satellite space in Columbus, Ohio in the 1960s and ‘70s—Ron Pizzuti was inspired to start collecting art on their initial encounter and has never looked back. The Columbus real estate developer bought his first artwork from Eva—a Karel Appel print on installment—and nowadays his love of abstraction stays true, but the works he’s acquiring in abundance are by young rebels, established icons, and international art stars.

Occupying three floors of the Pizzuti Collectionhoused in a 1923 classical mansion that formerly served as the headquarters for the United Commercial Travelers insurance company—NOW-ISM: Abstraction Today, an exhibition of 21st century painting, sculpture, video, and design objects, presents abstract works by some of today’s best artists. The show features nearly 100 artworks by 51 American, Canadian, European, Asian, and Latino artists—20 women and 31 men—born between 1940 and 1987.

Standout artists include such emerging talents as Diana Al-Hadid, Sarah Cain, Bjorn Copeland, Jackie Saccoccio, and Mindy Shapiro, along with established practitioners like Haluk Akakçe, Tony Craig, Tomory Dodge, Teresita Fernández, Jacob Hashimoto, Jason Middlebrook, Steven Mueller, Albert Oehlen, Jean-Michel Othoniel, and Columbus-based art star Ann Hamilton.

In his essay for the accompanying catalog, savvy LA art critic David Pagel hits the nail on the head when describing the crux of the show, stating, “In one weird, hyphenated word, NOW-ISM insists that the works in it are both of the moment—particular to the circumstances in which they were made and attuned to the digital phase of the Information Age as it hurtles us through the first decade and a half of the 21st century—and outside of time: unshackled by the constraints of context and the restrictions of history because, as works of art, they are fully present in the moment and available to be intimately engaged by innumerable viewers, over and over again, in perpetuity.”  

Scroll through the images below to get a taste of some of the best abstract art being made today. WM

 Mindy Shapiro, Looping, 2007 – 2008, Cast aluminum and enamel paint, 93 x 130 x 78 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and CRG Gallery, New York

Sarah Cain, Kiss, 2013, Acrylic, beads, and string on canvas, 126 x 72 inches. © Sarah Cain, Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York.

Installation view of Jason Middlebrook planks. From left: Black & White Number 2, 2011, Acrylic on wood plank, 120 x 18 x 2 inches; I never owned a pair of Vans, 2013, Automotive spray on English Elm plan, 108 x 19 x 1 1/2 inches; Violet Said No Color, She Was Right, 2012, Acrylic on wood plank, 88 x 22 1/2 x 1 inches; Three Times a Charm, 2012, Acrylic on Maple plank, 84 x 28 x 1 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the artist and Alan Geho.

Tony Craig, Lost in Thought, 2005, Wood, 98 4/10 x 39 3/10 x 23 5/8 inches. Courtesy of Galeries Thaddaeus Ropack Paris / Salzburg.
 Haluk Akakçe, An Advice from a Grandfather, 2010, Acrylic on board, 55 ⅛ x 66 ⅞ x 2 inches.
Courtesy of the Artist and Alison Jacques Gallery, London & Galerist, Istanbul.

 Jean-Michel Othoniel, Black is Beautiful, 2006, Murano glass and steel, 90 ½ x 17 ¾ inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin, New York.

Tomory Dodge, The Future, 2010, Oil on canvas in two parts, 78 x 156 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and CRG Gallery, New York.

Bjorn Copeland, Salty Dog with Leak Potential, 2009, Found ceramics, urethane, map pins, smooth cast,
24 x 10 x 10 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Jack Hanley Gallery.

Diana Al-Hadid, Dust Unsettled, 2014, Polymer gypsum, fiberglass, steel, plaster, gold leaf, pigment,
80 1/4 x 108 x 3 1/2 inches. Courtesy of the Artist Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York.

Stephen Mueller, 949 Kaspar, 2010, Acrylic on canvas, 34 x 34 inches. Courtesy of the Estate of Steven Mueller.

Jackie Saccoccio, Portrait (Bomb), 2013, Oil and mica on linen, 106 x 79 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Eleven Rivington.

 Jacob Hashimoto, Untitled, 2005, Paper, nylon string, acrylic Courtesy of the Artis and Studio La Cittá, Verona.

Ann Hamilton, The People’s Republic, 2013, Paperback book slices, wood, bookbinder’s glue,
9 3/4 x 12 x 4 3/4 inches. Courtesy of Ann Hamilton Studio.

Teresita Fernández, Vertigo (Sotto in su), 2007, Polished percision-cut aluminum 41 x 3/8 x 144 x 129 inches.
Courtesy the Artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.



Paul Laster

Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.



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