The Undiscovered Country
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For painters faced with the metaphorical death of painting, the way forward has indeed been puzzling. nevertheless, the territory continues to be explored. As Luc Tuymans put it, Painting is a way of thinking and constitutes an enormous archetypal pattern which artists constantly fall back upon.i The Undiscovered Country addresses, through 84 stunning reproductions, the ability of painting to tackle issues of representation now that, in the broader culture, the representational function is occupied almost exclusively by photography. Chronogical, it begins in the 1960s with paintings by John Baldessari, Fairfield Porter, Gerhard Richter, and others, which range in approach from painterly to conceptual. The argument continues with figurative painting from the 70s by Philip Guston, and proceeds via influential paintings of the 80s and 90s by Thomas Lawson, Kerry James Marshall, Luc Tuymans, and others. Also discussed is a group of younger contemporary painters including Mamma Andersson, Mari Eastman, and Thomas Eggerer. The Undiscovered Country does not position painting as a threatened medium, nor as one unjustly underrated, but instead looks carefully at the work of a number of painters who have thoroughly examined their own practices, and who continue to find approaches to representation that can only be resolved through painting.