In a Silent Way

The paintings of John Wilcox create a tension disguised as minimalism

Contemporary art has more than its share of curmudgeons, critical voices that look around at the state of things and see nothing but an inflated sense of self-importance. The 20th century is as ripe with celebrated bad ideas as it is of certifiable genius, but it's no better or worse than the centuries that have preceded it, even in the hype-prone U.S. of A. That the past 100 years have witnessed an increasingly quicker motion through such evolutions and revolutions is without a doubt. But to claim that artists have become ciphers in blinders trying to create a big-picture interpretation of their times and failing majestically is misinformed at best and arrogantly incorrect at worse. The rapid pace of postmodern life is present in every human undertaking, be it in art or science, technology, popular culture and politics. And as with those social creations, previous paradigms of discourse don't always present an accurate description of the present. You simply have to be willing to give the work an opportunity to speak for itself, congratulatory and dismissive waves of popular opinion be damned.

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