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Henry Schwartz

Fuller Museum of Art

This 80-work retrospective of veteran Boston painter Henry Schwartz was the first comprehensive view of the artist’s forty-year career. Fantasies in oil, dating from 1951 to the present, combine absurdist wit with a poignant retrospective look at 19th- and 20th-century history. Music is the spiritual center of Schwartz’s expressionistic figurative art, which frequently takes the form of portraits of famous composers, writers, and philosophers. (Schwartz’s bespectacled self-portrait often appears in the company of his fantasy alter egos Mozart and Mahler.) Amply endowed nudes, cultural imagery, and references to Nazi Germany, also pervade the work. Wagner’s Das Rheingold, for example, lends its title to a 1974 collage containing Rheingold beer-can tops displayed in a ring around a smokestack, a symbol for Wagner’s posthumous complicity in the Holocaust.

Schwartz’s intricately structured

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