Alan Pocaro reviews the exhibition New Image Painting at Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago, on view through October 4, 2014.
Pocaro writes that "is a stinging riposte to the kind of contemporary abstract painting that merely serves as 'a placeholder for value' and 'needs to get out of the way.' In its place, the show presents an alternative vision of art’s recent past that locates figuration and personal narrative front and center… Accusing contemporary abstraction of offering 'a site for infinitely shallow projection on the part of the viewer' is a serious, and—in my opinion—pertinent charge given the critical attention heaped upon it over the past few years. But it’s playing with fire: anemic art is anemic art whether it’s 'representational' or 'abstract.' Fortunately, 'New Image Painting' largely succeeds by its smart hanging and diverse selection of artists. The pairing of a spirited work by recent SAIC grad Nick Schutzenhofer with the more established, Matisse-riffing, John McAllister is alone worth the trip."