New York

“This Side of Paradise”

Concord Contemporary Art

At a time when style is vexed by the specter of its own superfluity, artists’ impulses toward universality must find some other anchor, some other point of departure from which to speak. Religious mythology provides a foothold in tradition, arbitrating the artwork’s passage from personal to public speech. Though Western art in this century has spoken a primarily secular language, it longs to carry the cultural and psychological weight provided by the narratives and symbolism of the Old and New Testaments, as this recent show amply proved. The six artists exhibited approached their subject in a variety of ways; overall, though content rather than adherence to a group esthetic was the curatorial starting point, the dominance of intense color and frequently awkward execution (there were, of course, exceptions) suggested an expressionistic revivalism carefully spiced with kitsch and pop.

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