Christian Vincent: Runyon Canyon," Mike Weiss, New York, NY. Through Aug. 16.
Ken Johnson reports: "At a moment when articulately imaginative representational painting seems in short supply, it’s interesting to consider Christian Vincent’s mildly wacky works. Formerly a slick, realist painter of dreamy allegories in the Bo Bartlett mold, Mr. Vincent evidently has been transformed in recent years by the painting of John Currin. He shies away from sexual perversity, but he creates goofily surrealistic scenes in a style that seems derived from mid-20th-century children’s book illustration. A Los Angeles resident born in 1966, Mr. Vincent does not play out the possibilities of his project as daringly as he might, but his paintings are amusing, psychologically suggestive and made with admirable craft."
"Painting: Now and Forever Part II," Matthew Marks Gallery and GreenNaftali, New York, NY. Through August 26.
Roberta Smith reports: "PN&FP2 exudes enough skepticism to evade the Valentine sincerity of its title. Ranging through several generations and numerous styles and methods, it includes works by more than three dozen 20th- and 21st-century artists, living and dead....Marks gallery has teamed up with Greene Naftali. Both are filled to the brim with what might be called 'painting and its discontents,' and although they form one exhibition, the displays are as different as the galleries themselves. The arrangements at Greene Naftali, especially, convey the impression that the only way to take painting seriously is to treat it as some kind of joke....Despite opening with a wall painting by Lily van der Stokker, things are considerably more hushed at Marks. The large gallery mixes usual and unusual suspects. Abstraction dominates, as do canvas and other stretched fabrics, along with an air of studied nonchalance, especially in works by Michael Majerus, Michael Krebber, Blinky Palermo and Reena Spaulings (spots of red wine on a tablecloth — how daring). Rodney Graham’s little confectionery abstractions remind us how many nonpainters end up painting (as does a work on canvas by the structuralist filmmaker Paul Sharits at Greene Naftali)."