Lisson Gallery

Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now

New York, 27 June – 9 August 2019

Painters Reply: Experimental Painting in the 1970s and now

Opening Reception: Wednesday 26 June, 6-8pm

In September of 1975, Artforum published a special issue on painting. In addition to articles such as “Painting and the Struggle for the Whole Self” and “Painting and Anti-Painting: A Family Quarrel”—in which Max Kozloff said “brush wielders were afflicted by a creative halitosis”—were the responses to a questionnaire polling 21 painters on the state and prospects of the medium. While the construct suggests an attempt to engage the question of painting’s future, the tone of both the preface and three questions is exceedingly stilted, rending it more of an obituary than rumination; an indictment of futility.

When Sol LeWitt declared in 1967 that the execution of the art object was now a “perfunctory affair”, it made Greenbergian formalism seem trivial and antiquated. As curator Katy Siegel noted in her 2006 exhibition “High Times Hard Times”, which explored unconventional painting from the late 1960s and early 1970s, a lack of a clear paradigm shift left the medium feeling listless. Terms such as “Lyrical Abstraction” and “New Informalism” failed to capture the breadth and dynamism of the medium, leaving many to simply condemn it. However, what if this lack of cohesion speaks more to a liberation of the medium as opposed to a symptom of struggle?

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504 West 24th Street
New York

Opening Times:
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm

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