From today painting is dead." That's the French painter Paul Delaroche after hearing, in 1838, of the invention of the daguerreotype. In retrospect, he may have overreacted; painting was still in the flower of its youth, and continued to bear fruit for another century or so. Delaroche's assessment was also prophetic. Since the advent of photographic media--which, for the sake of argument, encompasses everything from those first bleary daguerreotypes to last week's Hollywood blockbuster--painting has become the dotty uncle of contemporary art, widely regarded by the rest of the family as decadent, anti-modern, and embarrassingly unhip. What was once art's lingua franca is now art's dead language--useful, perhaps, for understanding the past but irrelevant to the new-media world of seduction and velocity. That's maybe overstating the case. But the question lingers: Is painting a living art or an... More >>>