From: Rudi Scholl
Date: 30 January 2002
Strange the curatorial policy of this wonderful set of rooms surrounding a courtyard which amplifies the weather, shows are poppy 80s painting:Haring, Liechenstein, Basquiat etc. It, and Rome as well in a way, are a reservation for the big-beasts of old fashioned oiliness and plasticity, where else besides timeless Rome could you be excited by a Sandro Chia show, wandering and wondering that maybe this could have been the new thing once.
Basquiat is presented as a good painter, with copious references to the stereotyping of his cultural roots intended to prove he can be rescued from his myth. Ths show proves nothing, the graffiti on the perfect architecture of Rome has the same quality, signifies freedom and politics not poverty for once in a restrained way, but perhaps Basquiat's beauty being comparable to the journey through this city's streets is good enough. Basquiat will obviously never satisfy because he died too young. We can conclude he paints well but the 80s were the final convulsions of the dying body of painting, illustrating its deficiencies gesturally though Schnabel Baselitz et al, polke and Keiefer showing ideas cannot be expressed, Guston and De kooning sincerity and facility disappoint, Freud and the English their insular stupidity. Painting needs a 1000 competing Basquiats. not a dead one or a few too fat too rich painters of mediocre talent.
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