new-york

“Pattern On Paper”

Gladstone Villani Gallery

Historically, the celebration and decline of most major modern art movements coincides with their institutionalization as academies that breed new movements standing for opposite values (though adopting some of the features of their predecessors). Since Impressionism, this reaction has usually taken the form of primitivism, with painting returning to the crude, the naive, the childish, the exotic, for energy. Gauguin and Van Gogh retreated—escaped, physically or mentally—from urban life, and the art which reflected it. Closer to home, after Abstract Expressionism came Pop, which was perhaps an escape in the opposite direction, but which clearly found its dynamism in the popular, the vulgar and in what can easily be described as the urban primitive. And this without forsaking the spatters and drips and repeated forms of the newest tradition.

After postpainterly color-field abstraction come

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