Painting Now

Suzanne Hudson

An international survey exploring the many ways in which painting has been re-approached, re-imagined, and challenged by today’s artists


Painting is a continually expanding and evolving medium. The radical changes that have taken place since the 1960s and 1970s—the period that saw the shift from a modernist to a postmodernist visual language—have led to its reinvigoration as a practice, lending it an energy and diversity that persists today.

In Painting Now, renowned critic and art historian Suzanne Hudson offers an intelligent and original survey of contemporary painting—a critical snapshot that brings together more than 200 artists from around the world whose work is defining the ideas and aesthetics that characterize the painting of our time. Hudson’s rigorous inquiry takes shape through the analysis of a range of internationally renowned painters, alongside reproductions of their key works to illustrate the concepts being discussed. These luminaries include Franz Ackermann, Michaël Borremans, Chuck Close, Angela de la Cruz, Subodh Gupta, Julie Mehretu, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Elizabeth Peyton, Wilhelm Sasnal, Luc Tuymans, Zhang Xiaogang, and many others.

Organized into six thematic chapters exploring aspects of contemporary painting such as appropriation, attitude, production and distribution, the body, painting about painting, and introducing additional media into painting, this is an essential volume for art history enthusiasts, critics, and practitioners.


A lively and well-illustrated survey of the disparate tendencies in international painting.

— Library Journal

Focused and genuinely global in its selection.

— The New York Times Book Review

An intelligent and original overview of contemporary painting.

— Lurzer's International Archive


Suzanne Hudson


Suzanne Hudson is an associate professor of art history and fine arts at the University of Southern California. She is an esteemed art historian and critic who writes on modern and contemporary art. Her previous books include Robert Ryman: Used Paint, Agnes Martin: Night Sea, and Mary Weatherford, and she is coeditor of Contemporary Art: 1989 to the Present. She is a regular contributor to Artforum.