As Painting

As Painting

Division and Displacement

Edited by Philip Armstrong, Laura Lisbon and Stephen Melville

How and why painting still matters.





How and why painting still matters.

As Painting, which accompanies an exhibition of the same name at the Wexner Center for the Arts, offers thought- provoking new perspectives on the evolution of painting in the United States and Europe since the mid-1960s. It illuminates the flexible boundaries of what can be seen or interpreted "as painting" and that medium's interrelationships with sculpture, photography, and installation, highlighting points of convergence and divergence. The featured artists include such major figures as Daniel Buren, Donald Judd, Imi Knoebel, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, and Robert Smithson, as well as artists who are much less known, at least in the United States. Pivotal to the discussion is the work of a number of significant but relatively unfamiliar French painters, including Martin Barré, Christian Bonnefoi, Simon Hantaï, Michel Parmentier, and François Rouan. The book serves as an introduction to their work while providing fresh interpretations of the more familiar artists. Also highlighted are several artists not usually thought of as "painters," among them Polly Apfelbaum, Mel Bochner, Judd, Smithson, Anne Truitt, and James Welling. The book features two extended essays, detailed commentaries on each of the twenty-six artists in the exhibition, and fourteen additional essays by artists and commentators noted for their engagement with the issues raised here. These include a commentary on Simon Hantaï by Alfred Pacquement, Director of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris; original essays by French critics Catherine Millet and Christian Prigent; interviews with artists Martin Barré and Mel Bochner; and a little-known set of notes by Jacques Lacan on the painting of François Rouan. Exhibition Information Wexner Center for the ArtsOhio State UniversityColumbus, OhioMay 11-August 12, 2001


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262011839 280 pp. | 8.5 in x 11 in 152 illus., 35 color


Philip Armstrong

Philip Armstrong is Senior Lecturer in Comparative Studies in the Humanities at Ohio State University.

Laura Lisbon

Laura Lisbon is a painter and Associate Professor of Art at Ohio State University.

Stephen Melville

Stephen Melville is Professor of the History of Art at Ohio State University.


  • As Painting isn't in any simple way a survey of recent painting; the authors have little time for work that assumes the medium's tradition, and less for work that parodies its dying. Rather, the book provides an exacting examination of painting as it continues to matter as a theoretical project, as it remains a significant problem in and for a body of works of art that don't so much resemble paintings as call forth painting's questions. For those used to the death of painting that American artists and critics have staged with French theory, As Painting turns some very interesting tables.

    Howard Singerman

    Department of Art, University of Virginia, author of Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University