The Big Picture: Filling the Space

Neo Rauch, Hausmeister (courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery)
Neo Rauch, Hausmeister (courtesy of David Zwirner Gallery)

Daniel Maidman reviews the exhibition The Big Picture at the New York Academy of Art, on view through March 2, 2014.

Maidman writes that the show is "a rare opportunity to see large-format paintings by a notable shortlist of contemporary painters: Vincent Desiderio, Eric Fischl, Neo Rauch, Jenny Saville and Mark Tansey. These painters have all confronted the problem of what to do with a disturbingly large picture plane, and each has found his or her own mode of filling the space. The theme of the show is not so much the largeness of the work itself, but the problem of filling the space. This is a fascinating dilemma. It tests the artist, not only as a technician and formalist, but as a visionary. Does the vision expand to fill the daunting space?"