new-york

Erotic Art

Sidney Janis Gallery

As advanced art has increasingly centered on the meaning of the observer’s act of looking, probing the nature of perception itself, retrograde art has tended to imitate it by parody. Erotic Art, at the Janis Gallery, represents such a parody. The awareness of one’s act of looking, which is heightened in confrontation with paintings by, say, Noland or Olitski is the subject of almost all the work in this show, but in a highly specialized sense. In Erotic Art one is confronted not with works of art but with occasions for voyeurism. As one is made to strain to piece together the images of nudes from the hanging tatters of Rosenquist’s Stellar Structure, it is the motivation for doing so that is on view. As the crowds in the gallery wait for the movie projector to throw an illusioned nude washing herself into view behind Whitman’s blank shower curtain, they are participating in a mass acting-out

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