new-york

Nancy Chunn

Ronald Feldman Gallery

For some time now, one of the more tiresome tics of general-readership art writing has been the accusatory repetition of the word “didactic”—a dismissive code, both smug and defensive, meant to justify the writer’s squeamishness in the face of artworks with discomfiting social content. Unfortunately, since politically oriented art is as subject as any other to rhetorical flaws, there has been plenty of drab and gauche work around with which to tar the rest of what, over the last two decades, has actually been a vital aesthetic current. But lately a number of artists, particularly those old enough to have observed or rather endured from the inside this country’s punitive recent reaction to socially probing art, have been figuring out ways to pursue their public concerns while also creating a visual sumptuousness to outmaneuver the labels used against them. I don’t know whether this was a

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