PRINT March 2019


Julien Nguyen, Mary, Anne, Christ, and John, 2018, oil and tempera on aluminum panel, 56 × 48".

SOME DECLARE the end of the world; others make new worlds. Julien Nguyen does a bit of both. Shuffling allusions from the Renaissance, anime, and the artist’s own life, his paintings reliably broach the familiar tropes of the powerful. You may remember Executive Function and Executive Solutions, both 2017, his contributions to that year’s riling Whitney Biennial: Subdivided into panels and tondi, they boasted satanic nymphs, skeletons, and nudes while evoking artists like Sandro Botticelli and Giorgio de Chirico—all portrayed as the front page of the New York Times. Here was the paper of record, that bastion of both compassion and complacency, reimagined as comic book, as peeling altarpiece, as final draft of History. The overall impression, as is so often the case with this artist’s work, was of innocents and demons alike poised at last on the edge of eschaton. Nguyen recently

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