Expanding on the Expansive

Sep 29, 2015
Constance Mallinson, The Large Blass-T (detail)

Constance Mallinson, The Large Blass-T (detail)

Eleven days and counting…

October 10, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline for applying to Free Painting, the conclusion of a 9-part, 9-artist, nineteen-month series called Expanding on an Expansive Subject, the Armory Center for the Arts.

Since May 2014, Margie Livingston, Analia Saban, John Burtle, Liat Yossifor, John Knuth, Kendell Carter, Kate Gilmore, and Sarah Kate Wilson have been featured in the series for 6 weeks each.

After a series of deaths and rebirths, painting has emerged in recent decades in an expanded form: as a medium, material, process, object, concept, and discourse. This exhibition examines nine artists’ responses to the materiality and fluidity of the ever-evolving practice of painting through an engagement with multiple disciplines. The artists in Expanding on an expansive subject embrace contemporary painting’s lenient disciplinary boundaries as they embrace a newfound freedom with the medium. (


By Margie Livingston

By Margie Livingston; photo, the Armory


Sara Kate Wilson

Sara Kate Wilson; photo, the Armory


John Knuth

John Knuth; photo, the Armory


Analia Saban

Analia Saban; photo, the Armory


Kate Gilmore

Kate Gilmore; photo, the Armory


Now, the series concludes with Constance Mallinson and Free Painting, which is described as an experimental project that explores the expanded field of painting.

The explosion of the contemporary art market since the 1980s has merged painting with its fetishized commodity status to the point where the two are inseparable, thereby questioning painting’s criticality in contemporary art. As a critic and painter, Constance Mallinson focuses on this symbiosis between painting and the market.

Through a practice of endorsing painting that formally, conceptually, and politically challenges the traditions of the medium, she calls for restoring painting’s ability to challenge existing values, a principle which has waned since the Modernist era. Instead of endlessly recycling its past formal successes, Mallinson’s painting engages with critical issues of the present such as environmental degradation and neo-liberal ideologies. (Official text)



Constance Mallinson, Raft, oil on canvas, 48 x 60 inches


The public is invited to come visit the Armory and view Mallinson’s Raft. Once viewed—and if one can envision and aspires to have Raft hang upon a wall at home—people are welcome, as part of Mallinson’s project, to write a 1,000 character statement about why they are interested in the project and would like to be considered as the recipient of Mallinson’s Raft. Ten applicants will be chosen for an interview, which will be filmed by the artist. Finally, a panel of jurors will select the winning recipient.


Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena Art Alliance Gallery, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena 91103. Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, noon–5 p.m.


Mallinson’s solo exhibition is on view through November 29, though applicants must be available, if one of the chosen ten, to be interviewed on October 17 or 18, the “winner” being informed on October 25.




Mallinson grew up in Washington D. C. and received a BFA from the University of Georgia. She has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts grant, received a commission and created a permanent art installation for the EXPO Line MTA Bergamot Station, and taught at universities and colleges including UCLA and Claremont Graduate School. Read more at


Constance Mallinson, The Land of Last Things (detail), 2015. Oil on canvas, 5' x 18'.

Constance Mallinson, The Land of Last Things (detail), 2015. Oil on canvas, 5′ x 18′.





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