A history that hadn't been told, Raphael Rubenstein, Curator Interview

Joan Waltemath (Brooklyn Rail) met with Raphael Rubenstein to talk painting. The interview ranges from the exhibition Rubenstein curated for Cheim & Reid, Reinventing Abstraction that I posted the other day, as well as his essays defining the current trend of Provisional Painting, and spaces in between.  Rubenstein said
One of the things that inspired my show was David Reed’s notion that there’s a “street history” of painting that painters share with each other, a set of references and concerns, and a sense of where they’ve come from and where they’re going. This street history almost never gets into official versions. Art historians and museum curators don’t seem to have much interest in it. The other thing that really hit me was an Art in America review by Carrie Moyer of the last show Stephen Mueller did before he died. She wrote that Mueller and a number of other painters were the “generation that essentially reinvented American abstract painting in the 1970s and ’80s.” I knew immediately that this must be true, especially because it was a painter I respected who was saying it. I also realized that this was a history that hadn’t been told. Even though most of the painters in my show are quite well known, they’ve largely been left out of the official histories of the 1980s because they don’t fit into Neo-Expressionism or Appropriation Art or Neo-Geo.  more

Stephen Mueller, "Delphic Hymn," 1989. Acrylic, raw pigment, and ink on canvas. 72 × 60".  

Elizabeth Murray
Oil on canvas
127 x 96 inches


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