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Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Plukasibo, 2014, soap lye and pigment on canvas, 78 3/4 × 57 1/8".

Jiří Georg Dokoupil

Kasmin Gallery | 515 27th Street

Jiří Georg Dokoupil, Plukasibo, 2014, soap lye and pigment on canvas, 78 3/4 × 57 1/8".

It’s hard to believe that the abstract Plukasibo, 2014 (which was on view in this show), and the cartoonish Der Leser (The Reader), 1981 (which was not), were made by the same painter—the Czech-born German artist Jiří Georg Dokoupil. One of the six artists in the Mülheimer Freiheit group and a leader of the aggressive Junge Wilde, Dokoupil made his reputation as a figurative painter, rendering the human form sometimes as a quasi-surrealist comic monster, sometimes in the manner of realist kitsch. Generally, his paintings were designed to provoke, their targets ranging from the art world (their seemingly sloppy painterliness was a rebellion against the tidy insularity, not to say self-righteous reductionism, of then-dominant American Minimalist and Conceptual art) to German politics (the works Dokoupil made with Walter Dahn in 1980 and ’81 flash the forbidden swastika—something

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