Benny Andrews

McIntosh Gallery

Benny Andrews’ recent work projects an extraordinarily humane vision. Andrews never loses sight of his subjects’ hardships. In the group of works from the “Southland” series, 1988, his characters are noble but not artificially so. Thanksgiving resembles Grant Wood’s American Gothic, 1930, but the farm couple are shown in full view and standing next to a pair of mules. In this and many other works, the mule is Andrews’ symbol of rural life, and the parallel between animal and human captures both the realism of Andrews’ idea of life in the rural South and a nostalgia for his Southern roots.

Several of the recent paintings and collages depict game players (always male) around a pool table, a card game, or a checkerboard. The characters are leaning on their cues or sitting on upturned boxes watching the progress of the game. They pose with a studied nonchalance, waiting their turn at a contest

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