Lance Esplund is not an easy critic to please. And don’t expect him to be impressed by your reputation:
Mr. Richter is considered to be a master of the smudge, the smear, the squeegeed swipe and the blur. The abstractions in this show, displaying the artist’s full arsenal of styles, include a hard-edged color chart, gray minimalism, childlike splatters, and neo-expressionism. (He appears to be able to do it all.) But if you have ever had a truly deep experience with the magic of painting, two minutes with Mr. Richter’s work will reveal that he simply dazzles his audience with sly, calculated visual effects—sophisticated evasions; not compositions. As far as painting goes, Mr. Richter’s formless decorations leave his viewers with virtually nothing (I guess this is the point), which allows them to make of his work whatever they want it to be.
I glean from this series, and from the show’s press release, that Mr. Fischl is intent on exposing the inhumanity of the bullfight, as he is also attempting to align himself with the great Spanish painters who have explored the subject in the past. He succeeds on neither count. Mr. Fischl’s pictorial arena, in which mannered and illustrative theatrical style is applied to a rich subject, reveals neither the customs of the bullfight nor those of painting.
Sizzle Sans Steak (Wall Street Journal)