ACTING OUT: THE AB-EX EFFECT. The world was supposed to end this past month, but we’re still here. No Rapture, no Apocalypse. The same could be said of Abstract Expressionism: That dripping, demonstrative, unabashedly tactile practice has met its maker many times over. Yet its effects are everywhere to be seen today, from new retrospectives of De Kooning, Koether, Oehlen, and Richter to the work of artists such as Josh Smith. This special section of Artforum‘s summer issue considers the historical nuances and contemporary persistence of AbEx—and the ways in which artists are engaging its expanded notions of affect, material, and experience, but to vastly different ends. More than twenty critics, artists, scholars, and curators feel the heat.

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