Painting Today

This four-session course examines how artists are reinvigorating image making, beginning with the work of Laura Owens. A key figure in the present resurgence of painting as an experimental medium, Owens’s deep arsenal of techniques and materials provides a starting point to assess the roles of technology, craft, and gesture in recent painting. We will look at the return of traditional genres of history painting, landscape, and portraiture, as well as the emergence of newer aesthetic categories rooted in kitsch and cuteness. An important question driving this course concerns contemporary artists’ relationships to modes of irony, sincerity, and humor. Finally, we will discuss how artists grapple with the politics of representation in painting, at a time when questions surrounding the ethics of looking and appropriation are both urgent and complex. We will consider these themes as they play out in Laura Owens, as well as in works by her peers including Toyin Ojih Odutola, Nicole Eisenman, Mark Bradford, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Jutta Koether, and Tala Madani, among others.

Instructor: Paula Burleigh is a Joan Tisch Senior Teaching Fellow at the Whitney and a PhD candidate in Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. Paula has taught adult education courses at the Museum of Modern Art, as well as undergraduate courses in Art History and the History of Photography at CUNY Baruch College, Hunter College, and Bard High School Early College.

Four-session course:

Option 1: Wednesdays, November 1, 8, 15, 29
2–3:30 pm

Option 2: Wednesdays, November 1, 8, 15, 29
6:30–8 pm

Option 3: Thursdays, November 2, 9, 16, 30
2–3:30 pm

Enrollment: $375
Members: $300

Please email for inquiries and information about this course.

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A 30-second online art project:
Kristin Lucas, Speculative Habitat for Sponsored Seabirds

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