Monday, May 02, 2005

_Art in America_ April Issue, from Australia to Porn to an American Master

The April 2005 issue of Art in America contains a few interesting pieces. For those in collection development, the Richard Kalina's review of De Kooning: An American Master by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan may be of interest. For the casual reader, the review provides a nice overview of the life of American painter who lived from 1904 to 1997 and who "many believe to be the greatest and most influential American artist of the 20th century. . ." (49). This issue also features various art reports from different parts of the world. I found particularly interesting the Report from Australia written by Richard Kalina, "Down Under No More," which argues that Australia has become an art center in its own right. Good information for those who may be planning to travel and have an interest in art. Sarah Valdez writes a small photography article, "Body Double," about photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders who depicts the same subjects twice, once clothed and once nude. The photographer recently did this approach in a series of portraits of porn stars. It is interesting to see how different some people can appear with or without clothes. The artist did make sure that for the stars' nude portraits, they were done up as when on screen. Finally, Sarah Lewis writes about Kehinde Wiley's portraits of African-American males in her article "De(i)fying the Masters." The artist creates life size portraits of African-American men "standing in the postures of prophets, saints and angels from Renaissance paintings, or of male subjects from later European portraits" (121). The exhibition was recently shown in the Brooklyn Museum. In the process, the artist offers a critique of the European tradition as well as of the media's portrayal of the African-American male. The samples presented in the magazine are very good in terms of providing a sense of the exhibit, and they are good art as well.

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