“The show is over.” Or is it? This exhibition is about abstraction and the end of painting, often proposed but never concluded. Christopher Wool’s statement in paintings, drawings and billboards, taken from Vasily Rozanov’s nineteenth century definition of nihilism, contains sufficient irony to suggest that painting itself, the spectacle that surrounds it, and the ultimate questions it poses about life and death, are never quite over.
The negation of painting emerged in Europe after WWII in Francis Picabia’s last paintings, Lucio Fontana’s punctured and slashed Concetto spaziale paintings, Yves Klein’s Fire-Colorworks, and Piero Manzoni’s quest for neutral materiality in the Achromes. When first exhibited in 1953, Robert Rauschenberg’s White Paintings—monochromatic panel paintings—were unprecedented in their deceptive blankness. These works anticipated diverse interpretations of the neutral picture plane. Gerhard Richter’s paintings of the 1970s in shades of grey project a removed, indifferent power. Richard Serra’s Left Corner Horizontal (1977), a dense black expanse of oilstick on linen, produces a physical and spatial void that appears impenetrable.
Artists in Exhibition : Dan Colen, Willem de Kooning, Jeff Elrod, Lucio Fontana, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Douglas Gordon, Kim Gordon, Mark Grotjahn, Wade Guyton, Gregor Hildebrandt, Neil Jenney, Mike Kelley, Yves Klein, Roy Lichtenstein, Nate Lowman, Piero Manzoni, Brice Marden, Adam McEwen, Albert Oehlen, Steven Parrino, Francis Picabia, Sigmar Polke, Richard Prince, Robert Rauschenberg, Gerhard Richter, Ed Ruscha, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Rudolf Stingel, Blair Thurman, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Christopher Wool, Richard Wright.