ABUNDANCE

Abundance is a tenuous state of plentitude, constantly threatened by entropic forces beyond human control. Consumer society depends on the desire for abundance, and art can have the effect of interrogating the way we identify repetition among a plethora of industrial objects with which we surround ourselves. Our expectation to have ever more easily accessible products, and to repeat their consumption in an addicted drone of monotony. The trick of art that has represented this repetitive state is to subtly reveal differences even among seemingly similar objects. Andy Warhol’s repeating cans of tomato soup, for example, or the unremitting rhythms of Steve Reich’s minimalist music. These examples offer the message that even out of the most mechanical repetition can emerge variation. In this tradition, artists today can offer resistance through the medium of painting, a perennial way to meditatively conceive of difference even among an abudance of repetition.