New York

James Brooks

Lerner-Heller Gallery

I don’t really know why, but the last few years have seen a resurgent presence of many lesser-known Abstract Expressionist painters. Our memory of them resides in art over 20 years old, and they return with reviews of the last two decades of their work so we may catch up with them. This has made a possibly anemic art world somewhat more active, with revisionist critics busily revising standards, accountants anxious to rectify errors on the balance sheet of historical importance. It all seems rather suspicious, as if we should be exceptionally nice and sensitive to these painters because years ago other critics paved them up.

I’ve been reading a lot about James Brooks lately, and it’s all very nice. He is said to have invented stain painting. He exhibits some paintings from the ’70s, and since there aren’t a lot of AE veterans around, everyone has become very gushy. None of this makes for

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