THAT IS THEN. THIS IS NOW.
Robert Storr and Irving Sandler are curating an exhibition to launch CUE’s 2010-2011 season, featuring artists that came to the fore in the mid 1970’s and who have continued to produce vital work but, over the years, have disappeared from the public gaze.
Art in the seventies was distinguished by its pluralism. The 1960’s “isms” seemed played out; pop art, minimalism and conceptualism were established; media based work began to command art world attention only toward the end of the decade; and new painting, commonly labeled neo-expressionism, emerged only in the next decade.
The situation was open. Anything seemed possible. At this moment of pluralism, a number of gifted and energetic artists started to explore varied options. They would create bodies of memorable work. All but one of the artists are painters. After the 1960’s, in which the slogan “Painting Is Dead,” was widely accepted, painting had made a comeback. It was still very much embattled, but the pressures on the artists made it interesting. Among the directions
that excited young painters were “pattern and decoration” and “new image” painting.
Cynthia Carlson and Kim MacConnel create original types of pattern and decoration painting. Martha Diamond and Mike Glier blur the distinction between gestural painting and abstraction. David Deutsch employs aerial perspective and bold color to re-orient our perception of the commonplace. Donna Dennis, working in three-dimensions creates a parallel urban reality. Lois Lane invents mystical iconic images. Tom Lawson translates media images into painting,
pitting a decorative surface against the grimness of tabloid reality. Hermine Ford continues the tradition of New York School all over painting and deflects it in a fresh direction.
This show looks backward and forward, with each artist represented by work of the 1970’s and work of today. The catalogue will contain art criticism about these artists and their world from the earlier period. Lectures and panels by artists, critics and curators will deal with the issues raised by the show.
ROBERT STORR is an American curator, academic, critic, and painter. He was named Dean of the Yale School of Art in July 2006 and was the director of the Venice Biennale in 2007. From 1990 to 2002 Storr was Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. He is considered to be one of the most influential Americans in the art world. Over the years, Storr has written for the following publications: Art in America, Artforum, Art Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, Art & Design, Interview, and many more.
IRVING SANDLER has proven himself one of the most important writers on the New York art scene. His first book, The Triumph of American Painting (1970), remains on of the most coherent interpretations of Abstract Expressionism ever published. In The New York School (1978), American Art of the 1960s (1988) and Art of the Postmodern Era (1996), Sandler continues to bring both an enthusiast’s passion and a scholar’s analytical skills to the history of the artists among whom he worked.