8 Figurative Painters in an Atemporal World

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Patrick Neal reviews 8 Painters at Danese Corey Gallery, New York, on view through March 14, 2015. The show features works by Nina Chanel Abney, Matt Bollinger, Caitlin Cherry, Joey Frank, Doron Langberg, Liz Markus, Kimo Nelson, and Jennifer Packer.

Neal notes that "it is interesting that 8 Painters, comprised of all figurative painting, and timed to run concurrently with The Forever Now, offers an alternative to the mostly abstract works at MoMA. If abstraction is favored by undiscerning speculator collectors as well as museums hoping to advance a fast-forward chronology of art history, there is still no small amount of figurative work on the scene. The abstract works in The Forever Now reveal a hodgepodge of styles, with artists picking and choosing motifs across time and space and putting them together in single works (hence the term atemporal). Image-based artists are doing much the same thing. Recurrent throughout 8 Painters are stylings on past painterly marks and movements, not so much placed in quotations as absorbed into a work’s facture… It’s a hopeful sign that the artists in [the show] demonstrate a critical distillation of influences that inform their particular sensibilities, philosophical outlooks, and relationship to materials — not making any great claims, just proceeding in a personally deliberate way."

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