new-york

Robert Baribeau

Allan Stone Gallery

What do Robert Baribeau’s paintings show us that we haven’t seen before? They’re full of the painterly Sturm und Drang, the excitement about paint—narcissistic absorption in its fluid pleasures and seductive touch, self-dramatization through dramatizing the medium—that we’ve come to expect from a convincing Abstract Expressionist painting. But aren’t bold brushwork, flamboyant color, and rushing drips—a certain reveling in the medium—old aesthetic and expressive news? Painting may not be dead, even if theorists eager to control the course of art history regularly proclaim its demise, but it certainly seems buried under the avalanche of art in other media. Hasn’t pure painting—painting for the sheer pleasure of painting, painting with no ideological agenda, painting that couldn’t care less whether it improves the world—become politically incorrect, a self-indulgent pastime, a reactionary

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