Here's the second half of my look back at Jerry Saltz's A Year in the Life:Tropic of Painting - an overview of painting shown in NYC during the 1993/1994 season - originally published in the October 1994 issue of Art in America.
My first post is here, Saltz's full text can be found here.
Category VI. Weird Realism
"it appears as if numbers of people are about to abandon their allegiance to theory. You can almost smell it"
Peter Doig - "his work lacks any sense of archness or strategy"
John Currin - "These were Currin's best paintings and his most peculiar to date. In his next show, I'd like to learn more of what these images mean to him"
Taboo - "something of a natural"
Maureen Gallace - "a sleeper"
April Gornik - her landscapes "have shown little sign of growth over the past decade, try to be visionary and descriptive at the same time, succeeding only occasionally"
Category VII. Conceptual Painting and Appropriation
"some people make paintings to make paintings, other people make paintings to make a point" - "If any of these artists ventures too far from the Path of Visual Thinking, their work can collapse into the ashes of irony"
Martin Kippenberger - "garishly colored and crudely painted", "more interested in chaos than either destruction or anything egalitarian. That's what lifts him above all the other pan-stylists"
Deborah Kass - "Her achievement lies in the way she freshens up another artist's style with new meaning"
Nicholas Rule - "a disappointment", "I still believe in this guy, though"
Komar & Melamid
Adam Rolston - "vapid"
Sarah Morris and here- "hopelessly caught in the spring of 1989. Their irony and archness is so empty and dogmatic that you can't help but think about all the other artists who have passed this way in the last five years"
Category VIII. Abstract Painting:Underdog or Uber Alles?
"There are many ways you could divide the unusually crowded category of abstract painting: these are only four of them, and the second is the most problematic"
Sub-Section 1. Mutant Greenbergian Abstraction
Larry Poons - "reminds us that as it is with artists, so it is with art movements: Never Count Anything Out"
Elliott Puckette - "one of the sweetest yet most austere shows of last season. In her first solo appearance, Puckette streamlined Pollock's alloverness into calligraphic lines and arabesques incised into painted wood. Lyrical, erudite and brimming with restrained emotion, Puckette's paintings read like abstract love letters"
Karin Davie - "Davie's first show was sexy to look at even if it did fade quickly from memory after you left the gallery"
Andrew Masullo - "another sleeper"
Eva Lundsager - "who more people should look at"
Sub-Section 2. Abstractionism
"this may be the kind of work that is helping to give painting a bad name", "these artists make rules rather than break rules. It's amazing that something that started out as bold and open as abstract painting should in their hands end up so obvious and lifeless"
Sub-Section 3. Garage Artists
"like Garage Bands, Garage Artists make their paintings with whatever's around: nails, string, chewing gum, Vaseline, yarn, rags or old underpants"
Sub-Section 4. Mad Max Variations
Rudolf Stingel - "one of the more vexing artists around"
Edouard Prulhiere - "his exhibition went overlooked and under-talked-about"
Damien Hirst - "multicolored dot paintings, which have been seen at the Cohen Gallery, are as pretty as they are opaque, as dainty as they are deadpan and are purely "Mad Max"
Mike Scott - "needlessly complicated his once austere art"
Steve di Benedetto - "once seemed very promising, combined a murky painter-liness with hard-edged optical effects. Like Scott, di Benedetto tried to do too many contradictory things. Both lacked a sense of resolution or clarity"
This isn't the whole article. There are two more categories!! My eyes hurt, I'll maybe add more links later.