new-york

“New Expressions”

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

The central characteristic of current neo-expressionist painting is its desire to collapse history into a shallow field of references. Parodying the techniques by which the mass media manage to deny difference, these painters work to render all things equivalent; styles, images, sources are processed through the art machine, reduced to a more or less interesting mélange and packaged with the signatures of figures made legendary by exposure in fashion magazines. There is a certain legitimacy to this, one which derives from a particular history, the history of conceptual and performance art in the first part of the ’70s. However naively, that history tended to question the central role of the privileged art object in both discourse and commerce, and as such it has proved inconvenient to those who would present the new art. To circumvent the problem they have simply borrowed the borrowed

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