new-york

Leon Golub

Susan Caldwell Gallery

Thinking of politics in relation to Gerry Morehead’s work might seem unexpected, maybe even unwarranted, but the strength of the work lies in its ability to deflect one’s attention in such a way. Leon Golub’s work, on the other hand, insists that it be taken in only one way, as a political statement, and while that insistence is a source of charm, it is also the work’s greatest weakness.

Golub’s recent paintings have an undeniable grandeur, a convincing simplicity of conception and execution. Working on a large scale he places huge figures against a dull red ground, his dry, scraped paint working curiously against the heroic quality this scale gives the grotesque realism of his drawing. His characters are ugly, unpleasant men and women, mostly lounging around, leering at each other and at us, only occasionally engaged in any identifiable activity. And even then, when they are clearly up to

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