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Robert Russell

Anna Helwing Gallery

On first impression, Robert Russell’s second solo show of paintings at Anna Helwing Gallery, much like his debut, conformed to a familiarly Richteresque template. At issue, once more, was the relation between painting as a primary, hands-on means of producing images and all the medium’s technically assisted derivatives. As we have seen in the work of Luc Tuymans, as well as that of his numerous followers, this issue is by no means resolved. On the contrary, it demands continual rethinking in the light of every new technological development. All of these painters are concerned with the question of what their medium essentially is, in the modernist sense, while also recognizing that its ontological core is subject to change.

Whereas Richter works to “expose” the technical base of the image, Tuymans increasingly places the emphasis on the image as such: No less emptied-out in stylistic terms,

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