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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Sunday, September 15, 2013

powerfully and subliminally present--social realism at its mostconfronting!

Max Ginsburg: a Retrospective

Social realist painter, Max Ginsburg's works are a wonderful commentary on the everyday life of inhabitants of New York. Full of  life and vigour, executed powerfully they expose the viewer to the full range of emotions of his subjects, the slump of the worker"s shoulder in Reading Break (1974), the delicacy of the face of Emily (2004) , to the reality of his nudes. His paintings are a celebration of the ordinary, of the everyday.
I loved his painting of his first wife Sonia peeling apples.  Ginsburg brings that Degas ballet dancer pastel quality to this work. In his indoor family works the play of light and lightness are gently telling. I particularly liked the light in Early Morning (1977) where Ginburg's daughter is holding her doll.
Ginsburg's still life paintings just by their content are a commentary on everyday life of our times. 
His 'workers' folio capture the moments between, revealing the simplicity of those moments between work and rest.
Ginsburg's War Pieta, contrasting with the old masters visions of the Madonna and Jesus,  referencing the war in Iraq, captures you forcefully even as you try to run away from the reality it speaks to.  Powerful, unrelenting and verifying the horror and tragedy of war and loss, it is juxtaposed against our memories of pietas that display a more subdued mourning Madonna.
Unfortunately I was only able to review a kindle copy. For sure I would be purchasing this as a book so that I could flip more readily between the pages, contrasting and observing, just enjoying!
Well worth the purchase!

A NetGalley ARC

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