Guillaume Bresson, Sans titre, 2010–12, oil on canvas, 67 x 88 1/2".

Guillaume Bresson

Galerie Nathalie Obadia | Rue du Cloître St. Merri

Guillaume Bresson, Sans titre, 2010–12, oil on canvas, 67 x 88 1/2".

I probably shouldn’t like Guillaume Bresson’s work; it’s really not my thing. And what kind of thing is that, that’s not mine? Well, it’s something like what certain Italian critics of the 1980s promoted under labels like ipermanierismo, anacronismo, or pittura colta: a way of painting that depends on using stylistic codes taken from the art of the Renaissance, Mannerism, and above all the Baroque and somehow updating them. Not that it’s absolutely impossible to make good painting today while channeling styles of past centuries—I loved John Currin’s neo-Cranach phase, and would still go out of my way to see the work of Carlo Maria Mariani, the brightest light of ipermanierismo—but those efforts largely amounted to a tedious academic hash. Besides, most of the hypermannerists painted so badly—without energy, without tenderness, without apparent pleasure in their

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