by Nathalie Azoulai
No need to say that since Marcel Duchamp, contemporary art has been hacked or at least deeply transformed. Instead of stating beauty and perception, art has been stating art, in the way old Magritte used to say "This is" or "This is not" art. In that new field and market, painting has been so downgraded that some French contemporary painter, Bruno Perramant, once told me that he was isolated because his art was a consistent tribute to old painters such as Manet and Goya, whereas fairs and galleries mainly show mixed media installations. Some French historian of art, Christine Sourgins made of this statement an ideological fight: if part of it may be justified, many contemporary painters just blow it off day after day: Lisa Brice, Marlene Dumas, Elizabeth Peyton, Bruno Perramant etc. All contemporary and great painters, yes indeed.