Friday, January 5, 2018

SoiL Thornton at Moran Bondaroff


Enough amalgamation allowing for the collection of everything and yet remain free of its debt, reviewers throwing artistic forebears by the handful to see what sticks but Thornton's elision of names proper provides its greatest deftness, a balletic comedy of evasion, against being pinned down.  Dumb painting and its dogged ability to get the paint on the canvas as its own stubborn form of defense.

Schjeldahl, 1988: George Condo is one of the new dumb painters, adherents of a fashion bidding to be a tradition. [...] the latest hope in the painterly romance that flared a decade ago with Julian Schnabel and Sandro Chia and has since made dozens of names in the U.S. and Europe. The Romance is an infatuation with paint, distinct from any special use for it. The new dumb painters  of the 1980s are not necessarily unintelligent, but they are allergic to analysis. They bet that their own innocent pleasure in painting proves that painting (and they) will be immortal. [...] In its decadence, signaled by Picasso's terminal, self-imitating, dumb phase (mid-'40s onwards), one gets an elegance so second nature that the fiercest attempts to uglify it, by Dubuffet or by Picasso himself, merely amplify the tastiness. [...] That's the point: to show that painting has a primordial vitality as unkillable as cockroaches.