Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s takes a focused look at painting from a decade associated with the arrival of new media and the rapid growth of the contemporary art world.
Drawn entirely from the Museum’s deep holdings of this period, this exhibition presents work by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, Elizabeth Murray, David Salle, and Terry Winters, alongside work by less-familiar artists such as Moira Dryer, Joyce Pensato, and Julia Wachtel. While considerable attention has been given to the decade through artists’ use of appropriated imagery and photographic sources, the exhibition examines this moment specifically through the lens of painting, considering the ways in which the medium was reinvigorated throughout the decade at a time when its relevance was fundamentally challenged. Against the backdrop of heightened recent interest in contemporary painting, the exhibition will explore the ways in which so many artists actively took up the medium in the 1980s through expressive figuration, conceptual practices, and painterly abstraction, often making work that was politically and socially engaged.
Fast Forward: Painting from the 1980s is organized by Jane Panetta, associate curator, with Melinda Lang, curatorial assistant.