Audrey Flack

Armstrong Gallery

Audrey Flack is one of our most important painters, but these works are not her most important paintings. Not that they’re uninteresting, but they’re more interesting because they’re Flack’s early “expressionist” work than because of anything inherent in them. This exhibition’s timing seemed to pose them as America’s answer to the European “neoexpressionists”—the Germans (who are really as conceptual as they are expressionist, using living paint to resurrect dead signs, in the spirit in which one tries to return to origins after one’s innermost ideas and beliefs have been defeated by history) and the Italian “neomythical” painters. But Flack understands nothing about expressionist or mythological painting, though she knows how to quote both in a lively art-historical manner, as though trying to make an old picture interesting for a freshman class.

Let’s take the appropriately German-derived

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