Emerging out of a long and complex tradition in French art and art theory, the word tableau is often translated into English as “picture-form” or more simply as “painting.” While less familiar in the U.S., the concept of the tableau has received much critical attention in England in recent years, notably by practicing artists. For example, the Tate Modern hosted a symposium in 2011, Tableau: Painting, Photo, Object, which was organized by a painter, Mick Finch.
The primary aim of the exhibition, Painting, Tableau, Stage, is to import a part of this vibrant discussion on the tableau to the U.S. The central visual core of the exhibition will be the contemporary paintings of Moyra Derby, Stuart Elliot, Mick Finch and Beth Harland. Each of these contemporary painters has contributed significantly to the discussion around the tableau, and each maintains active studio practices in relation to painting.
The second part of the exhibition explores aspects of the tableau in the context of painting, theater and film in relation to: 1) historical paintings and photographs from the Columbus Museum of Art; 2) films screened in conjunction with the exhibition; 3) artifacts from the Theater Research Institute relating to scenography. All three contexts in the second part of the exhibition will offer a way to investigate the tableau/painting as a staging or operation that exists in both spatial and temporal terms.