Art Diary

American Painting: The Eighties Revisited

12 March 2021

While some museums are closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Apollo’s usual weekly pick of exhibitions will include shows at institutions that are currently open as well as digital projects providing virtual access to art and culture.

In 1979, the Grey Art Gallery at New York University hosted ‘American Painting: The Eighties’ – a landmark show that considered the possible avenues for painting in the decade ahead. Would the most significant painting of the 1980s take its cues from Abstract Expressionism, or post-abstract movements such as Pop or minimalism, or strike out in new directions entirely? This display at the Cincinnati Art Museum (12 March–11 July) recreates that exhibition, with work by all 41 of the artists in the original line-up – among them Sam Gilliam, Nancy Graves and Elizabeth Murray – and 35 paintings that were shown in 1979. Find out more from the Cincinnati Art Museum’s website.

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Untitled (1983), Dennis Ashbaugh.

Untitled (1983), Dennis Ashbaugh. © Dennis Ashbaugh

Flesh, Earth and Sky (1979), Elizabeth Murray.

Flesh, Earth and Sky (1979), Elizabeth Murray. © 2019 The Murray – Holman Family Trust/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Tequila (1979), Sam Gilliam.

Tequila (1979), Sam Gilliam. © 2019 Sam Gilliam/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Strobia (1978), Nancy Graves.

Strobia (1978), Nancy Graves. © 2019 Nancy Graves Foundation/Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York