What is painting?

‘What Is Painting?” The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY. Through September 17

In The Village Voice, R.C. Baker recommends the show: “This big, brightly didactic survey of painting movements since roughly 1965 feels a bit like the Astor Place Kmart�blocky white spaces filled with disparate goods of mixed quality. Culled from MOMA’s collection, the paintings are generally hung in groups of four so that affinities or clashes between artists and styles come at you from all points of the compass….John Baldessari’s own text painting could be an epitaph for this column or any other critique, reading in part: ‘Art is a creation for the eye and can only be hinted at with words.’ Amen, brother.”Read more.

Daniel Kunitz in the NY Sun: “The delightful proposition of “What Is Painting?” � a broad survey of art from the 1960s to today, drawn from the Museum of Modern Art’s contemporary collection � is that we have utterly lost our way: We no longer have any idea what painting is, and we are much better for it. Loosely chronological and with an equally relaxed thematic structure, the show makes its argument largely through the variety and quality of the work on view.” Read more.

Dan Bischoff writes in The Star-Ledger: “”What Is Painting?” is a summer show at the Museum of Modern Art, a discrete sampling of the museum’s vaults that has hung 50 paintings in a series of 12 open galleries, sort of like a party held in a hotel hallway. A really expensive party, of course….The open ar rangement of mini-“galleries” is meant to allow the visitor to make visual correspondences across time and styles, but it also suggests a certain continuity of cultural confusion that arcs across the entire post-modernist era.” Read more.

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