london

Kate Bright

Emily Tsingou Gallery

EVER SINCE MODERNISM taught us the apparently unbreakable habit of reading works of art self-referentially, illusionism no longer concerns what a painting shows, only what it is. For instance, the work of a number of painters (Karen Kilimnik is a key referent: point; Rob Pruitt has also been availing himself of one of the signature material of this show, glitter) gives the illusion of being amateur, obsessive, or simply tacky and decorative. Painting has to perform its own appearance, and just as performance art tends to focus on bodily suffering, contemporary painting registers an incurable fascination with the degradation and abjection of the picture, its demotion from the realm of high art.

And yet the fact remains that, just as a classical painting could manifest its power only through some deviation from pure illusion, a contemporary painting can only do so through some break, however

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the Summer 2001 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.