• Tom Wesselmann

    Bernard Jacobson Gallery | London

    Not enough attention is paid to Tom Wesselmann. This is probably due in part to the prevailing tendency to judge artists mainly by the work through which they first became widely known: Wesselmann’s series “Great American Nudes,” 1961–73, includes some fine paintings, but the works are not among the strongest or most radical examples of early Pop, and their sexual politics seems dated and naive—not as crass as Mel Ramos’s paintings, certainly, but also lacking the acute eye for male anxiety that gives some of John Wesley’s their impact and resonance.

    Furthermore, the technique Wesselmann began

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  • Phillip Allen

    The Approach

    In Phillip Allen’s painting Rich History of Foul Ups, 2008, an array of banana-like forms in yellow and black pops out from a washy blue-and-brown backdrop, partially framed by a system of straight lines that vaguely suggests a stack of wooden crates. Running along the top and bottom of the panel—like the isolated strips of blue sky and green grass in a child’s landscape drawing—are narrow multicolored bands of impasto applied in thick wrinkled squeezes and thinner dribbling lines. In contrast to the flatness of the main image, these unctuous additions seem almost comical in their exuberant

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  • Duncan Campbell


    Bernadette, 2008, is the story of Bernadette Devlin, the Irish political activist who, in 1969, became the youngest-ever female member of Parliament at the age of twenty-one; she was to remain an outspoken leader of the impoverished Catholic working classes. Beyond mere biography, however, Duncan Campbell’s 16-mm film (transferred to video) is also a story about storytelling itself—about the gaps, the choices, the subjective rehearsing of history, and all the moments left unrecorded and forgotten. Campbell uses primarily archival footage—usually exhilarating moments of Devlin’s spectacular

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