PRINT February 2003

Jan Avgikos

From about the late ’80s to the mid-’90s I went back and forth between New York and Germany and Austria. There were plenty of occasions of notoriously bad behavior; it seemed to be an excuse for lots of people to get drunk and take to the tables, like some male-artist rite of passage. As a woman, I sidestepped the sexual stuff that always seemed to be part of the bargain. I was appalled at the misogyny.

I’ve been thinking about Martin’s 1990 exhibition of paintings at Metro Pictures. It was surprising to me at the time that people who had been so absolutely on board with his work disparaged the paintings. The idea of irony and “bad painting” has roots in European practice that make it so much more established as a methodology: I’m thinking of Picabia and, in the ’60s, Polke and Richter. The acceptance of that work in this country is not a given. I always thought that there was more of an

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