New York

Mark Tansey

Curt Marcus Gallery

Mark Tansey translates the language of art history—particularly terms with scientific and military origins such as “avant-garde,” “revolution,” “discoverer,” and “pioneer”—into literal scenarios that mock the discipline’s self-importance. His Action Painting II, 1984, which depicts a party of plein-air painters outfitted with easels and folding chairs sketching an atomic bomb exploding across the desert, sets the studio-bound heroics of the Abstract Expressionists against the devastating potential of contemporary technology. Elsewhere Tansey presents the postwar migration of artistic energy from Paris to New York as a treaty-signing between French and American artist-soldiers.

With the exception of Wilbur Braque and Orville Picasso (all works 1990), in which two painter-inventors test-fly an airborne cubist collage, these recent drawings turn away from art history and towards contemporary

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