“Agitated Figures: The New Emotionalism”

Hal Bromm Gallery

We thought it was Neo-Expressionism, which at least gave some it intellectual cachet and historical resonance, but now we’re told it’s just plain old everyday emotionalism, maybe a little mannered, but like what hysterical women and jaded men have. And Richard Flood, the catalogue writer, tells us it involves the use of the figure as an “emotional signifier,” a gesture (which nicely links it with Abstract Expressionism, so as to leave nothing to chance or perversity—which would put the movement, whatever it might finally end up being called in the textbooks, outside history, where nothing exists except dumb nature). Jedd Garet, Roseanne Generalli, Keith Haring, Peter Julian, Cheryl Laemmle, Jody Pinto, Jane Rosen, Terry Rosenberg, Russ Warren, and Frank Young—each represented on the average by two or three works—are used to buttress this grand theory. That is, an anonymous isolated figure,

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