See It Loud: Seven Post-War American Painters

Leland Bell, Croquet Party, 1965, oil on canvas, 42 x 60 inches (Collection of the Center for Figurative Painting, New York)Leland Bell, Croquet Party, 1965, oil on canvas, 42 x 60 inches (Collection of the Center for Figurative Painting, New York)

What may well turn out to be the best painting show of the season, See It Loud: Seven Post-War American Painters, opens September 26 at the National Academy Museum in New York. The exhibition features works by Leland Bell, Paul Georges, Peter Heinemann, Albert Kresch, Stanley Lewis, Paul Resika, and Neil Welliver, all painters who pursue(d) an expansive painterly vision in an era defined by increasingly reductive approaches in art. Paul Resika describes their shared ethos: "we used to call it plasticity," he comments, "plastic imagination, that's the only way you can understand painting, without that you're just talking about styles; plasticity is the great quality - movement, nothing flat, nothing dead."

Although these artists have long been heroes to many painters, they have never received the broader critical attention they deserve. As a group (which also included Gabriel Laderman, Louis Finkelstein, and Louisa Matthiasdottir among others), they refused to accept the conclusions of previous generations, each choosing to re-work their way through the whole history of painting. In a video interview for the current show, Resika notes how he took landscape, rather than abstraction, as his starting point. By addressing the issues of painting in his own way, he recalls: "I eventually became a modern painter again."

Three videos below, produced by Ben Tudhope for the show, provide an excellent introduction to the exhibition as well as more in depth features on Paul Resika and Stanley Lewis.

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