It's been a while, I think, since painting was declared dead yet again -- witness, for example, reports coming from Art Basel earlier this week, where recent paintings by the likes of Neo Rauch were selling well (if at prices below last year's). Museums are loaded with great contemporary painting exhibitions this summer -- not just the Bacon retrospective at the Met or Cy Twombly at the Art Institute of Chicago. This Saturday, June 20, the Phillips Collection in Washington opens one worth noting: Paint Made Flesh, curated by Mark Scala of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville. It debuted there in January. The idea behind the show is this:
Paint Made Flesh presents paintings created in Europe and the United States since the 1950s in which a wide range of painterly effects suggest the carnal properties and cultural significance of human flesh and skin. As a revisionist study of post-World War II art, the exhibition offers a rejoinder to the modernist orthodoxies of the mid-to-late 20th century by contending that paint's material properties make it well suited to convey metaphors of human vulnerability.