Art & Design

Painting Is Still Cool (Kind Of): The Forever Now at MoMA

Art & Design

Painting Is Still Cool (Kind Of): The Forever Now at MoMA

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Today, MoMA opens “The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World,” a (somewhat predictable) survey of paintings by 17 contemporary artists. The show is said to reflect “atemporality,” which we had to look up and basically means that through the GREAT POWER OF THE INTERNET and social media and all that fun stuff, we have access to everything that is going on right now, all the time (or something like that, the press release was predictably wordy). You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram, as the well-attended preview occurred on Tuesday (beef jerky was served).

Curated by Laura Hoptman, MoMA’s curator of painting and sculpture, The Forever Now features works by bankable stars like Laura Owens, Oscar Murillo, Josh Smith and Joe Bradley. I quite like most of these artists (Bradley especially), but who cares what I think.
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Joe Bradley–Man Made Dirigible (2008)

Let’s turn to critical power couple Jerry Saltz and Roberta Smith, who undoubtedly have been discussing this show over their morning Wheaties for months now.

“If MoMA is the Ferrari of Modernist museums, “The Forever Now” is driving it like a Prius: something made to have minimum impact on the environment while making people feel okay about something troubling.”  - Jerry Saltz, Vulture

“In short, this exhibition looks far too tidy and well behaved, much as you might fear a show of recent painting at the Modern would look: validating the already validated and ready for popular consumption.” – Roberta Smith, The New York Times.

Humdrum as it may be, “The Forever Now” is straightforward and enjoyable, particularly to the dealers representing the artists on view. One thing is for sure; all those youngsters making sculptures out of found objects and garbage are pretty bummed out rn.