"That Barnett Newman 'Onement' Painting Is, Like, So 1948"

Barnett Newman, Onement, I, Oil on canvas and oil on masking tape on canvas, 27
Barnett Newman, Onement, I, Oil on canvas and oil on masking tape on canvas, 27 1/4 x 16 1/4 inches, © 2012 Barnett Newman Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York (Musuem of Modern Art, New York)

Shane McAdams reviews the exhibition Abstract Expressionist New York at MoMA.

McAdams writes: "Like most of the people reading these words, I grew up in a generation that would view claims of painting's or New York’s supremacy as somewhat chauvinistic and confrontational. Our way has been more polite, less opinionated, and more circumspect, opting for the more slippery strategies of relativity and irony to make our points. The tendency has favored not being wrong over being right. If irony is to state one thing and to mean another, our generation has carved an entire worldview out of not actually meaning anything. This is the legacy of Andy Warhol, the high priest of cool detachment. So it’s not such a leap for the children of Warhol to assume that those AbExers were playing fast and loose with meaning as well, when in fact they meant every word they said."