new-york

View of “Call and Response,” 2015.

“Call and Response”

Gavin Brown's Enterprise | Downtown

View of “Call and Response,” 2015.

To survey painting in 2015 is to take on a seemingly impossible task. How to sort through its stylistic shifts, its post-medium-specific mutability, its disorienting variousness? How to define painting’s boundaries? What could one possibly say? One well-trod approach is to make no claims at all: Throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. And that, broadly speaking, was the route followed by “Call and Response,” a show at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise that presented some fifty artworks made in the past few years in a cacophonous mishmash of a salon-style hang. Instead of cohering around a discrete theme, the exhibition evinced a blithe and exuberant willingness to mix things up.

Although the gallery is big enough and the paintings were large enough to give the proceedings real seriousness and heft (a hint of the gravitas of AbEx scale), the overall feel was that of a suburban

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