Monograph covering the last ten years of the artist Blake Rayne's output, a mode of abstract painting irrevocably marked by conceptual art.
Blake Rayne's paintings stem from the generative duplicity of words like Script, Folder, Application, Dissolve, and Screen. These operative terms situate the work between forms of linguistic description and the history of reflexive material practices in art. He begins from an orientation that considers the terms “painter” and “painting” as fictions. They have no stable material definition, but rather are shaped by evolving social, institutional, and physical relations. Conceived as a work, this monograph covers the last ten years of the artist's output and culminates in his first survey exhibition at the Blaffer Art Museum in Houston, Texas. Shifting sequences of varying material treatments guide us through the linguistic, institutional, and physical relations that have shaped Rayne's painting practice. The book is united under the structuring sign of cinema, with each section existing like a shot in a film, if you will, that is necessarily informed by and in dialogue with those that come before and after it. The main essays by John Kelsey and Jaleh Mansoor respectively situate Rayne's art within the urban cultural circumstances of New York during the last decade, and his specific position as a painter in relation to other painters of his generation, such as Cheyney Thomson. Mansoor further skillfully places the artist in a wider historical context. Shorter texts by gallerist David Lewis, artists Laura Owens and Sean Paul, as well as curator Javier Sánchez Martínez, illuminate other aspects of Rayne's work, and weave together a range of ideas and tones, from the history of corporate design to the rise of automation; from a lighthearted intervention about “The Rule of Blake” to a museum catalogue introduction.