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the 55th Carnegie International

Paul Thek, Untitled (Earth Drawing I), ca. 1974, acrylic on newspaper, 44 x 66".

“ONE READING OF DAVID BOWIE’S song ‘Life on Mars’ would be that he’s talking about escaping a world that’s spinning out of control and falling apart,” explains curator Douglas Fogle in reference to his appropriation of the musician’s title for the Fifty-fifth Carnegie International, which opens this month at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh. “But another interpretation—and this is the way I like to think about it—is that it’s to do with the human desire to connect. After all, if you think about Hegel’s formulation of the master and the slave, to say nothing of other central theories of European philosophy and psychoanalysis, it’s all about the idea that we’re always trying to connect.”

Using the song as a jumping-off point but giving Bowie’s “sailors fighting in the dance hall” a wide berth, Fogle has focused on quieter, more intimate moments of everyday life and

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