Mexico City

“Chronologies”

Temistocles 44

Staunch anti-Modernists used to celebrate paintings with an obvious narrative line (such as those by Jorg Immendorff and Eric Fischl), if only as a means of antagonizing those who espouse an “antitheatrical,” formalist approach. Narrativity has since been unhappily linked to content in its yet unhappier quarrel with form. “Chronologies,” a tight international exhibition of recent narrative works, refrained from playing the role of the post-Modern contrarian. The allure of these stylistically hybrid pieces derived less from their subject matter than from the artists’ concern with creating artworks by transforming narrative into an element that is as malleable as paint is in an action painting.

Both Jeffrey Vallance and the artist team Arce/Abaroa devised processes that allowed their untamed tales to unravel, and both were protagonists in the narratives they created. In the Images in the Eyes

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