Luchita Hurtado, Untitled, 1970, oil on canvas, 32 7⁄8 × 19 1⁄8". From “Painting: Now and Forever, Part III.”

“Painting: Now and Forever, Part III”

Greene Naftali/Matthew Marks Gallery

The pensive woman portrayed in Lynette Yiadom-Boakye’s Jubilee, 2016, prominently hung in “Painting: Now and Forever, Part III,” appeared to be contemplating her predicament: “How’d a good painting like me end up in a show like this?” The spectacularly haphazard exhibition, a mishmash of roughly one hundred works by forty-six artists at both Greene Naftali and Matthew Marks, raised a lot of questions. Why so many bad painters? Why so many bad pieces by good painters? Why the whipsaw transitions between works as bewilderingly different as Alex Israel’s giant, onanistic self-portrait and a subtle night sky by Vija Celmins? Why the departure from curatorial logic and, not infrequently, discernible taste?

Perhaps the biggest question the show’s organizers might have asked themselves is why the third edition of this decennial exhibition was necessary at all. When Marks and the late dealer Pat

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