new-york

Mel Ramos, Richard Hunt, Ralston Crawford, Max Weber, Ingres in Rome

French and Co., Museum of Modern Art, Zabriskie Gallery, Bernard Danenberg

At the risk of myself ending my meteoric career, I have to say that I was not at all put off by the recent work of MEL RAMOS The paintings consist of nude pin-ups, with more or less the contours they used to have in the drawings of Petty and Varga, juxtaposed with some animal (usually hideous) against a ground whose flatness is often accentuated by a border. The girls’ postures are sometimes provocative, but the work is certainly not exciting enough to be called erotic, at least not by my definition of the word—it’s just sexy; but there’s nothing wrong with that.

It will seem crazy, but I thought of Joseph Cornell. For one thing, the incongruity of the voluptuous nudes and the ugly animals is of the same sort that Cornell’s imagery is based on—infinitely less distilled than in Cornell, of course, but basically of the same type. But the resemblance is much clearer, in fact explicit, in a

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