new-york

“PaJaMa”

DC Moore Gallery

This recent exhibition of the “PaJaMa Photographs,” a collaborative venture of the three painters Paul Cadmus, Jared French, and Margaret (née Hoenig) French, suggests that their painterly work drew upon a wealth of knowledge gathered with Margaret French’s Leica over the course of a decade. They also suggest that contemporary ideas about art have changed in the years since the pictures were taken: these intimate and informal works, with their slightly surreal compositions, their youthful, often nude subjects, and their recurringly narcissistic, homo-erotic themes, now seem precursors to the work of photographers equally dedicated to stylish, narcissistic, homoerotic dream-imagery: Jack Pierson, say, or Bruce Weber (who, in fact, saluted the PaJaMa photographs in a 1995 photo essay for L’Uomo Vogue). Unlike these contemporary photographers, however, the PaJaMa Group were not creating these

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