Jed Perl reviews the recent exhibition The Painting Factory: Abstraction After Warhol at MOCA Los Angeles.
Perl writes that the press materials refer to "abstraction as 'a painting tradition that was once seen as essentially reductive' and 'monolithic and doctrinaire' – but has 'now become expansive.' In what sense were seminal abstract artists such as Kandinsky or de Kooning ever reductive? And what is more reductive than Warhol’s silly attempt at an all-over abstract painting included in this show, the bewilderingly boring 35-foot expanse of army surplus patterning entitled Camouflage? …There is nothing in this show – neither the labyrinthine spatial visions of Julie Mehretu nor the impacted collage surfaces of Mark Bradford – that doesn’t have its origins in abstract painting long before Warhol got to work with his silkscreens."