Xstraction at The Hole
The press release for Xstraction....promises “a major show looking at new approaches in abstract painting.” But by the end of the first paragraph the text backpedals a bit: “We hope to present some of the various tendencies in the tradition of abstract painting from where they may have begun to where they are going today.”
The latter statement is more on the mark. There are only a few paintings here that are startling in their originality, but despite their sheen of newness, their relationship to antecedents is very much in evidence. This is not a criticism; to the contrary, it’s a major factor in the richness of their aura (a word I use advisedly). The rest of the works in the show appear to be earnestly made, but their conversion of past practices (abjection and process are especially pervasive) for the here and now do not register as particularly imperative.