Sponsor: Golden Artist Colors

Abstraction’s Possible Histories

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Rachael M. Wilson considers the exhibition Reinventing Abstraction at Cheim & Read, New York (through August 30) in the context of curator Raphael Rubinstein's previous curatorial efforts and influential articles on "provisional painting." 

Wilson writes that the current exhibition "is compelling, and that the pieces have been selected with a sense of the visually rhythmic—by which I mean, the paintings dialogue with each other: they carry on an engaging conversation that feels neither repetitive nor disconnected. On the other hand, though the group of painters represented here form a tight-knit 'generation' (one constraint of the show is that all the artists were born between 1939 and 1949), and though the selected works originate from the same period and place, the works are aesthetically independent enough to resist any easy categorization according to style or aims… Rubinstein’s curation in Reinventing Abstraction proposes something—an idea, a possible history—that may connect with others but which is, nevertheless, its own. It’s not simply the sequel to High Times Hard Times, nor the revision of genealogies traced in the 'Provisional Painting' essays, nor the direct extension of ideas explored in 'Abstraction Out of Bounds'— though it shares something in common with each of these. Though it’s not necessary to think of the show in conjunction with anything else at all, it could be interesting to consider it"

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