In recent years, demonstrating one’s own insouciant flexibility, whether professional or personal, has been a matter of economic survival; thus, the shrug emoji has reigned. We are all implicated in variously exciting or pernicious networks: What to do about it? Painting, in its dominant German/American veinat least the type associated with the Cologne–New York axis and identified by David Joselit in 2009 as “networked”has demonstrated commitments to awkward states such as ambivalence, and to its own poverties. Michaela Eichwald’s exhibition of paintings at Reena Spaulings Fine Art seemed to newly commit. “All the stuff we could say comes from a certain Rhinelandish or an even rougher, heavier Westfalian history. . . .” the press release reads, gesturing at Joselit’s “Painting Beside Itself,” bad painting, and so on, without really wanting to go into it. This is fine,
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