Behind the recent return to sixties painting lies an ambivalent fascination with that moment just before the rise of today's art system, and with how coherence in art was achieved back then—through the supposed determinations of medium or history or the logic of avant-garde experimentation—in any case achieved differently than simply on the level of system. Does today's revival of painting indicate a nostalgia for the notion of a pure medium, or is it a means of resisting the spectacular goal of a totally integrated digitized landscape, the world turned into pure non-medium?
Lane Relyea's writings have appeared in Artforum, Parkett, Frieze, Art in America and New Art Examiner. He has published recent monographs on Richard Artschwager, Jeremy Blake, Toba Khedoori, and Monique Prieto, among others, and contributed to such exhibition catalogs as Public Offerings (the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2001) and Helter Skelter (LAMOCA, 1992). From 1991 to 2001 he taught at the California Institute of the Arts. He is currently Assistant Professor of Art Theory and Practice at Northwestern University, Adjunct Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and is finishing his doctorate in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.