new-york

Alan Green

Susan Caldwell Gallery

Since the phrase “bad painting” has already gained a certain notoriety lately as a pseudo-critical category, I hesitate to use it to describe the artists’ paintings I review here. The new “bad” has signified nonmainstream, crude, raw, personal, naive, different. Different from what? From what we have come to expect of professional New York City art —a certain look, finish, touch, casual but studied, honed, honest, just on the sincerely refined side of slick. Difference from this norm or model called for the word “bad,” as if being different were somehow “bad” But this new “bad” has quotation marks cushioning it, as if obviously ironic, as if the art in question wasn’t really bad at all.

I use bad without quotation marks, not as an irony, not as if I mean the opposite of what I write. Bad: slick, repetitive, unoriginal, conventional, tame, drained, uncritical, tedious. Further: overwhelming

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