I was all ready to hang up my paint brushes and give up on the medium all together (not really but I thought about it for a minute) based on the way of art as of late but seems there’s hope for the painters yet. Though maybe in a slightly different form than before.
In Five Chelsea Galleries, the State of Painting
Painting is a lot of things: resilient, vampiric, perverse, increasingly elastic, infinitely absorptive and, in one form or another, nearly as old as humankind. One thing it is not, it still seems necessary to say, is dead.
Maybe it appears that way if you spend much time in New York City’s major museums, where large group shows of contemporary painting are breathtakingly rare, given how many curators are besotted with Conceptual Art and its many often-vibrant derivatives. These form a hegemony as dominant and one-sided as formalist abstraction ever was.
But that’s another reason we have art galleries. Not just to sell art, but also to give alternate, less rigid and blinkered, less institutionally sanctioned views of what’s going on.
Evidence of painting’s lively persistence is on view in Chelsea in five ambitious group exhibitions organized by a range of people: art dealers, independent curators and art historians. Together these shows feature the work of more than 120 artists and indicate some of what is going on in and around the medium. Some are more coherent than others, and what they collectively reveal is hardly the whole story, not even close. (For one thing there’s little attention to figuration; the prevailing tilt is toward abstraction of one sort or another.) A few of the shows take a diffuse approach, examining the ways painting can merge with sculpture or Conceptual Art and yield pictorial hybrids that may not even involve paint; others are more focused on the medium’s traditional forms. Read the entire article