Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"Bea Arthur Naked" (1991) by John Currin

"Even in the case of one of Currin's most deservedly famous, or notorious, early paintings, Bea Arthur Naked (1991), the sitcom star preserves a certain restraint, dignity even, that militates against the overtly camp/kitsch (or possibly anti-feminist) readings of the picture that so readily come to mind. Perhaps the Arthur portrait is going rather against the grain of the Currin mode, even as it was only coalescing in the early 1990s - the exception that, maybe, proves the rule of perversion." (source)

From Saturday, November 11 – Friday, December 22, 2006 Gagosian Gallery in NY shows John Currin's first exhibition with the gallery.

From a review of the show:

So what shall we call these new hard-core paintings? Will “postporn” do? “Sublingual”? “Pre-op”? [..] Perhaps Currin is really a feminist who decided, even at this late date, to expose the “male gaze” once and for all, like Stanley Kubrick with Eyes Wide Shut. Or perhaps he is just another sexist pig who refuses to admit that he’s trying to keep this subject matter in male hands. Or perhaps he is simply making fun of his own penchant for Courbet. Or perhaps he really gets off on painting porn.

To mark this exhibition, Gagosian Gallery has published a comprehensive monograph of Currin's paintings, drawings and related source materials from 1988 to the present. John Currin includes essays by Norman Bryson, Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego; Alison M. Gingeras, Adjunct Curator, Guggenheim Museum; and novelist Dave Eggers.

Buy this book at

all posts on John Currin

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