Why must they always kill painting? I realize some of these critics speak in jest, some mean it and are in it to make a name for themselves and there are some who genuinely believe that painting has offered all it can. And it comes up again and again. After the last cannibals belch of the “death of painting “ discourse has dissipated, painters still paint.
In the last few weeks I have seen painters do much to prove them wrong. Exhibit A: John Zurier at Peter Blum. The surfaces are scraped flat, the colors are spare or singular, depending on the work. They are clean and pure and do great things with light. Zurier, like all the artists I will mention here, has already had a long, fruitful career. They also all create abstraction. This is not a comment on the state of painting or the art world, just what I have reacted too.
Suzan Frecon’s recently closed oil paintings and sun (sorry for the late notice) show at Zwirner was both grand and sparse. Massive works filled with shimmering landscape were all lit by natural light only. I few years ago I wrote briefly about her paintings on paper and I continue to find myself enamoured with the work. Here, the 6 large panels sing together. Their song would be dark and long and by someone with a deep luscious and droning monotone.
Thomas Nozkowski’s show at Pace is a triumph. Since I work for a Pace subsidiary I feel like it is wrong for me to review the show. Luckily John Yau has done so and done it (predictably) well for Hyperallergic.
Painting has evolved with us. There are so many people now and so many paintings. I don’t think there should be less of either. I think that we are at the point of a volatile glut and painting will act the same way.
– Jeff Bergman April 2015