new-york

Amy Sillman

Sikkema Jenkins & Co.

Not so many years ago, while teaching the “theory” class at an MFA program in New York, I was told winkingly by the (it so happens: tenured, male) chair of the department that what I offered the students was all well and good, but that at the end of the day, “you don’t need to read to paint.” Though conferred upon me in this case by a proud, self-declared anti-intellectual, the sentiment is hardly rare. Indeed, for all the attention paid to so-called Conceptual painting and its attendant practices over the (at least) past four decades, a kind of inherent allure remains—for better or worse—around the indubitably material, highly particular properties of paint on canvas. (Too often, painting’s irreducibility is said to drive its market readiness, as though collectors can’t just as easily acquire other artistic products, or as though the medium is somehow wholly aligned with bourgeois taste.

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 September 2010 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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