new-york

Group Material

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

One aspect of recent painting that has not yet been much discussed is its obsession with collecting, and with the display of such activity. It is not simply that the work is collectible, but that in its very structure it is concerned with collecting, with amassing a fortune of detail and information with which to dazzle us. Images and styles, materials and methods, clichés and quotations are piled dazzlingly on top of piles. These great collections are then spread across a great deal of space, and in as many galleries as can be arranged at once, so that we may admire their accumulated power. On the face of it the results are impressive, as all such shows of force are meant to be. But the impression soon sours, resistance builds, and discerning viewers begin to notice a certain hollowness to it all.

Group Material has been addressing this empty rhetoric of property relations over the past

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