On Saturday, September 27, artists, art historians and critics will be jawing about state of painting. “Although widely proclaimed dead in the 1980s, painting has returned to prominence in recent years.” Participants include Yve-Alain Bois (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton), Spencer Finch (Artist, Brooklyn, New York), Jonathan Fineberg (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Blake Gopnik (The Washington Post), Suzanne Hudson (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign), Dorothy M. Kosinski (The Phillips Collection and Center for the Study of Modern Art), Leng Lin (Pace – Beijing), Joseph Marioni (Artist, New York City), Stephen W. Melville (Ohio State University), Laura Owens (Artist, Los Angeles), Andrea Pollan (Curator’s Office, Washington, DC), Richard Shiff (University of Texas), Elisabeth Sussman (Whitney Museum of American Art), Gordon VeneKlasen (Michael Werner Gallery). If you go, stop in the galleries and see Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series, which is up through October 26.
UPDATE: Tyler Green (Modern Art Notes) attended the symposium. Here’s his take on it:
“And over this past weekend the Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art, a museum with a spectacular 1890-1940ish collection, held a symposium on painting in the 21st century, an area in which the museum has virtually no art and no curatorial expertise. (Perhaps this is why three dealers ended up on the day’s program.) I attended. Some of it.
“My favorite part was a panel discussion on criticism and painting, during which Washington Post provocateur Blake Gopnik said that painters were responsible for what he considers to be the weak state of contemporary painting criticism. Call it the Gopnik Doctrine. On its own that’s a pretty remarkable assertion, but it was flat-out amusing given the ‘keynote address’ that preceded it. The keynoter was Suzanne Hudson, who opened her talk by discussing the alleged death of painting (I could have sworn I heard Whitesnake and Richard Marx songs in the background) and then quickly moved on to painting’s alleged death within the context of today’s art market, inadvertently using ten minutes of whiplash to fuse two decades of cliches. The best part: Under the Gopnik Doctrine, painters are to blame for Hudson’s talk. All of which isn’t to suggest that museums shouldn’t be interested in contemporary issues, just that they should try to engage within the context of what they do best.”
Painting in the 21st Century,” The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC. Saturday, September 27, 2008 10 am – 5 pm. Free with admission to museum.