soutine and modern art


I hear it said all the time: Why paint today, when ever-new forms of interactive technologies compete for our attention? How instrumental can painting be in a world that’s changing faster than we can measure? Sure, we can bring it forward, revise histories, finesse attitudes. But cover new ground? There’s room for doubt.

This discursive rumble is most audible in Chelsea, where it is rare to encounter art that is not almost exclusively of the moment. Anything produced before postmodernism gets bumped up to midtown, with the result that big questions about painting and the relevancy of art are staged in a partial vacuum. That said, as galleries have become increasingly large, with the clout and the budget to mount ambitious, museum-quality exhibitions, new models are emerging that challenge the status quo of “all contemporary, all the time.” New art is beginning to rub shoulders with modernist art, downtown, in ways that would have been unimaginable a decade ago.

Mix it up, and the rewards can be huge. There’s no better example than “The New Landscape/The New Still Life: Soutine and Modern Art.”

more from the Village Voice here.