Some Thoughts on Clement Greenberg and His Legacy

In his introductory essay to Vitamin P, a survey of contemporary painting first published by Phaidon in 2002, the poet and critic Barry Schwabsky takes pains to point out the variety of stylistic positions available to a contemporary painter. In doing so, Schwabsky suggests that there is no single identifying characteristic that would disqualify a contemporary painting from critical consideration today. This state of openness was not always the case. In my opinion, however, the receptivity that Schwabsky claims for painting is not actually an accurate characterization of the current situation, where success is generally judged by an artist’s standing in the marketplace.

Enduring Meaning in an Old Medium

Despite cold, rainy weather, a large audience turned out for “… towards meaning in a plural painting world,” a panel discussion moderated by Katy Siegel at Hunter College’s MFA building. The room was filled with young artists and MFA candidates eager to participate, and the place swelled to standing room only. Siegel explained that the modus operandi for the evening was driven by questions from and conversations had with students, and that it was only necessary to cross the hall or walk downstairs to view artwork from the Hunter MFA Thesis Fall 2012 exhibition.

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