Eric Ernst reviews Unfinished Business: Paintings from the 1970s and 1980s by Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, and David Salle at the Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, New York, on view through October 16, 2016.
Ernst writs: "Fischl, Salle, and Bleckner all arrived in New York around 1978, at a point when declarations of painting’s passing coincided with the decline in popularity of both Pop Art and Minimalism, following those movements’ heyday in the 1960s and early 70s. All three had graduated from the California Institute of the Arts, whose dean at the time, the late Paul Brach, once sardonically described his duties to me as bestowing 'licenses to commit art.' The three artists approached the canvas with markedly different aesthetic priorities and methods. At the same time and more significantly, they shared—despite an array of technical dissimilarities—a desire to return contemporary painting to a more narrative driven framework than artists had opted to apply throughout much of the entire post-war period."