The Loss of Painting

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 11 pm Friday, 84 x 72 inches, oil on canvas, 2008 (courte
Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, 11 pm Friday, 84 x 72 inches, oil on canvas, 2008 (courtesy of the artist)

Viktor Witkowski responds the Jerry's Saltz's recent New York Magazine article Art’s Insidious New Cliché: Neo-Mannerism, in which Saltz bemoans "that ever-expanding assembly of anemically boring, totally safe artistic clichés squeezing the life out of the art world right now... Looking at 2-D work, I'm this close to that old Carter-administration-era croak of 'Painting is dead.' Again."

Although Witkowski agrees with Saltz that "current mannerisms in painting are undermining its potential and strength," he cites Lynette Yiadom-Boakye as an example of an aritst who "reveals some of her references (a mix of Velasquez, Manet, James Ensor and occasionally George Condo), but always manages to deliver paintings that stand on their own... Her work is not about pledging alliance to a painterly style or fashion. Yiadom-Boakye is committed to painting alone and what it is capable of doing if left alone and entrusted with its most powerful of tools."