Other photo of Mark Tansey
800 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94133, United States
San Francisco Art Institute
Other photo of Mark Tansey
695 Park Ave, New York, NY 10065, United States
Mark Tansey Edit Profile
Initially, Mark attended San Francisco Art Institute. In 1969, he enrolled at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles, graduating in 1972. Lorser Feitelson, Llyn Foulkes and Larry Dreiband were among his mentors. In 1974, the painter entered Hunter College in New York City, where he remained during the next four years.
After graduation from the Art Center College of Design, Mark held the post of an assistant at the San Jose State University Gallery. Some time later, he left for New York, where he examined traditional and modern styles of painting and sculpture. Also, during his first few years on the East Coast, he worked as a studio assistant to Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler.
In 1971, Tansey completed "The Last Judgment", a piece, consisting of 32 rectangular segments, inspired by Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel mural, declaring it a "synthesis of photographic, illustrative and painterly qualities". In the early 1980's, Mark started to develop his own style.
During his lifetime, Tansey took part in many major exhibitions, which were held at different museums and art galleries, including Kunsthalle Museum in Basel (1990), Seattle Art Museum (1990), Fisher Landau Center for Art in Long Island City (2005), Gagosian Gallery in Los Angeles (2011), Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh (2015) and others.
Currently, the painter lives and works in New York.
Robbe-Grillet Cleansing Every Object in Sight
Triumph Over Mastery
The Innocent Eye Test
Triumph Over Mastery II
Judgement of Paris
A Short History of Modernist Painting
Pleasure of the Text
Action Painting II
White on White
Achilles and the Tortoise
End of Painting
"I am not a realist painter. In the nineteenth century, photography co-opted the traditional function of realist painters, which was to make faithful renditions of "reality". Then the realist project was taken over by Modernist abstraction, as later evidenced in the title of Hans Hofmann’s book Search for the Real. Minimalism tried to eliminate the gap between the artwork and the real. After that, the project itself dematerialized. But the problem for representation is to find the other functions beside capturing the real."
"In my work, I’m searching for pictorial functions that are based on the idea that the painted picture knows itself to be metaphorical, rhetorical, transformational, fictional. I’m not doing pictures of things that actually exist in the world. The narratives never actually occurred. In contrast to the assertion of one reality, my work investigates how different realities interact and abrade. And the understanding is that the abrasions start within the medium itself."
"I think of the painted picture as an embodiment of the very problem that we face with the notion "reality". The problem or question is, which reality? In a painted picture, is it the depicted reality, or the reality of the picture plane, or the multidimensional reality the artist and viewer exist in? That all three are involved points to the fact that pictures are inherently problematic. This problem is not one that can or ought to be eradicated by reductionist or purist solutions. We know that to successfully achieve the real is to destroy the medium; there is more to be achieved by using it than through its destruction."
Mark is married to Jean Tansey.