Adam Lindemann uses his Observer column to linger over the legacy of the 1980s and why so few of those painters achieved lasting fame:
Actually, the 1980s threw up an entire generation of superstar painters. But history has not been as kind to most of them. Many suffered through the late 1990s, after the art market crashed, and have yet to make a real comeback. They’re still working, but you don’t hear about them. Where is the excitement today surrounding the work of Ross Bleckner, Tim Rollins or Francesco Clemente? And he buzz isn’t deafening for big vintage names like Julian Schnabel, David Salle or Eric Fischl.
Lindemann identifies Basquiat as the only one of the 80s stars to have had his apotheosis and wonders why George Condo is only getting a retrospective at the New Museum:
Both young, talented and extremely prolific, the two artists were friends and George, in his early years, was acclaimed as a genius, too. (The Museum of Modern Art owns his work but no Basquiat paintings.) But I don’t think George, unlike Basquiat, ever sought to be a art-world heavyweight champion; he wasn’t out to be a hero, and perhaps he wasn’t as focused on fame. Over the years, he’s been doing his own thing: paint, and paint, and paint some more. […] After all these years, why does it feel like George (and perhaps some other ’80s painters) is still not where he deserves to be?