• John Halaka

    Graham Gallery

    What does it mean when an artist inserts himself into the political envelope of Jacques-Louis David’s emblematic painting Death of Marat, 1793, in such a way that we, in turn, are enticed to stand in his place “contemplating revolution?” This latter phrase is the double-edged title of the key work in the series “Prelude to a Pacifist Revolution,” 1985–86, John Halaka’s latest group of encaustic paintings. In Contemplating Revolution, 1986, Halaka excises the body of Marat from the David painting and literally incises it as an ambiguous glyptic image in the middle ground of a horizontal rectangle.

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