About seven years ago—just in time to kick off the art boom—a kind of get-rich-quick, end-of-history painting for the Bush era erupted out of MFA programs and onto New York's gallery walls. Conventionally "radical" twists on the prickly challenges posed by an earlier cohort of figurative artists (think John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage), the tricked-out, dumbed-down daubing of painters like Dana Schutz and Kristin Baker, among others, nearly proved the haters of painting right. No matter how charitably one considered their pumped-up canvases, it was impossible for some—including this critic—to not see in their works' banal good looks stroke material... More >>>