Arts and Culture Local News

Today the University of Louisville will host a talk by Newsweek contributing editor and painter Peter Plagens.

Titlted “The Absolute Truth,” the lecture will include Plagens’ ideas about the role of painting in contemporary art and his view of art criticism in today’s press.

Although installations, video art and photo-based work have become more prevalent, Plegens says painting remains a contemporary medium.

“The death of painting has been greatly exaggerated,” he says. “The contemporary art world does draw in some part on what the general populace is interested in and there are a lot of people who like to paint. People hang paintings in their room. University classes teach painting. It’s still viable.”

Plagens, who is also an abstract painter, has written about visual art since 1996 for publications that also include The Nation and Art in America. He says critics have become less influential in recent decades while collectors have gained more sway in the contemporary art world.

“Somewhere in the ‘80s the art market got a little tired of being dictated to by critics,” he says. “So, now basically, collectors make the market. Collectors used to buy what critics said was good. Critics now cover what collectors buy.”

Plegan’s lecture begins at 6 p.m. at The Speed Art Museum.