Those who wonder whether painting has a future — whether this exasperatingly obdurate and sticky old medium can still speak to us in an age of frictionless digital everything — miss the point. Skepticism about the medium is valid, as far as it goes; but you’re a fool if you underestimate the people who use it.
The Institute of Contemporary Art is pushing this point with two splendid solo exhibits by female painters whose work feels urgently alive. One of them, Amy Sillman, is nearing 60, and working at the peak of her powers (her show was reviewed in the Globe in October). The other, Christina Ramberg, died in 1995 just before turning 50.