• Callum Innes

    Frith Street Gallery | Soho Square

    It is not so long since the inherently repetitive nature of cultural activity seemed to suggest that abstraction was a vanquished option. How could you confront everyday reality with the reality of painting if there were no difference between the two? In some quarters, however, it is increasingly the tendency to reassert claims of value against the more self-indulgent aspects of post-Modernism’s love affair with heterogeneity. As Kate Soper said at a recent conference on “Values” at the ICA, “reveling in the loss of progress is a Western metropolitan privilege that depends on living in a certain

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  • Alan Charlton

    Victoria Miro Gallery/ICA

    Everyone knows it is not easy being a “pure” abstract painter today. We are so accustomed to the idea of the death of the historical avant-garde that any practice that justifies itself in the name of a hermetic, reductive formalism is received with indifference. Our persistent appetite for the “new” is such that our self consciousness of the paradoxical and tragic dimensions of the historical avant-garde remains curiously underdeveloped.

    Alan Charlton is a “pure” abstractionist, and as such, the historical potential for his painting seems, frankly, bleak. The formal possibilities of such a practice

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