Roberta Smith Reviews Gallery Series Featuring Karl Wirsum

Roberta Smith (HON 2017) recently reviewed the gallery series titled Painting: Now and Forever, Part III on view in the New York exhibition spaces of the Matthew Marks Gallery and the Greene Naftali Gallery. The series features work by overlooked, emerging, and established artists including SAIC alum and member of the Chicago artistic group the Hairy Who, Karl Wirsum (BFA 1961, HON 2016 ).

The gallery series is part of an ongoing survey of contemporary painting that is staged every 10 years and originated with art dealer Matthew Marks and performance artist turned art dealer Pat Hearn. Following Hearn’s passing in 2000 the show continues to be curated by Matthew Marks and gallery owner Carol Greene. The show is comprised of around 100 paintings by 46 artists including Nicole Eisenman, Jasper Johns, Robert Bechtle, and Bhupen Khakhar to name a few. Karl Wirsum’s installation featured two of his paintings of colorful toy-robot-figures, Sputter in the Niche of Time and Toot Toot Tutu Toodle-oo. Smith’s New York Times review of the gallery series states, “As the show veers from insightful to arbitrary to oblivious, its sheer freedom is part of what makes it interesting.” Highlighting the delicate realism of Sylvia Sleigh's paintings, Smith says it serves as a precedent for younger painters like Aliza Nisenbaum (BFA 2001, MFA 2005), whose work is not in the series but could be according to Smith. The gallery series will remain on display through August 17. Read the full review here.