new-york

Michael Joo

Anton Kern Gallery

It stands to reason that pretty much everybody knows what a zebra looks like, either from photographs or the zoo, a tourist safari or Animal Planet. This was obviously not always the case, as for instance when George Stubbs painted the zebra that had been imported to England in 1762 by Sir Thomas Adams as a gift to Queen Charlotte, who kept a collection of exotic animals in the park of Buckingham House (as the palace was then known). In his most recent exhibition, Michael Joo took Stubbs’s 1763 painting of this zebra as the inspiration for three sculptures. The artist makes direct reference to the painting in the life-size bronze sculpture Stubbs (Absorbed), (all works cited, 2009), although the posture of the creature, with its head turned and tail swinging, departs from that of the morose zebra in Stubbs’s painting. A four-part screen shielded this work somewhat from the rest of the

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