“Back to the USA”

Wolfgang Max Faust

This show, curated by Klaus Honnef, was intended as a corrective of the current view of art, as a straightening out of standards. Its departure point was the recognition that since the end of the ’70s discussion of art has focused mainly on Europe. The “new painting,” notably in Italy and West Germany but also in Switzerland, Austria, Holland, and France, has concentrated attention on formulations that connect up with specifically European traditions while also breaking with them, melding the most varied pictorial conventions. The attention garnered by this new art has been phenomenal—even in New York—and consequently American art has suffered, internationally speaking at any rate. Apart from the work of a few “stars,” it has only barely been competitive with the European successes.

The aim of “Back to the USA” was to demonstrate that this focus is distorted and to recreate a sense of the

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