“Painting at the Edge of the World”

Walker Art Center

AN EXHIBITION featuring thirty international artists, “Painting at the Edge of the World” reported on the embattled status of painting after a century's worth of challenges from all sides. The medium has suffered attacks by Conceptualists and performance artists; by modernists like Piet Mondrian and Clement Greenberg, who hypothesized that painting's ultimate goal was to paint itself out of existence; and, more recently, by poststructuralist-inspired theories of authorship, which targeted the transcendental I/eye implicit in painting since the Renaissance. Yet if this exhibition is any indication, it's not painting that's been weakened by the siege but rather the critical paradigms of the last century.

Countering the most basic principle of the medium, curator Douglas Fogle included historical precedents for the reconceptualization of painting without the paint. Among these were Tableau-Bateau

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