Painting returns

As the economy tanks, so painting returns. According to the Art Newspaper, the dealers at the Frieze Art Fair are ‘playing safe, with a predominance of painting’ and work that is ‘more brightly coloured this year’. Inside the big tent, the editor of Art Journal Katy Siegel gave a talk saying ‘the most exciting form art takes today is painting, in which abstraction and representation intersect and interfere with each other, continuing the secret and long history of modern painting, obscured by decades of ideologically rigid art criticism.’  

Gerhard Richter (Untitled 1997, above), now showing at Tate Modern, is regarded as the ‘greatest painter alive’ now that Twombly and Freud have passed, while the paintings of other art fair favourites like George Condo and Tal R are ubiquitous. And the ripples are felt elsewhere too. Robert Motherwell shows at Bernard Jacobson in Cork Street, next to a show of new paintings by Ian Davenport at Waddington, and round the corner Pippy Houldsworth has just opened a fine new gallery in Heddon Street with a powerful show of paintings by Clem Crosby (left). Painting continues regardless of fashion and it is good to see it surge through the veins of the contemporary art world once again.